Summit recently started sending their beer to Missouri and the timing couldn't have been better. Well... that makes it sound like I have a well formed opinion toward Summit's beers and that definitely isn't the case. Before a month ago I'd only ever had one Summit offering, it was their Oktoberfest and I really enjoyed it. When Summit announced they'd be sending a good number of their beers to Missouri I hoped it'd be in time for us to seen Oktoberfest on the shelves around town. The timing worked out perfectly and I was able to get my hands on some of these bottles to see if Summit Oktoberfest tasted as good as I remembered.
It seems like there has been a lot of buzz around Ciders in the past year. I can't say Ciders have always been on my radar, but one of the first six packs I ever bought for myself was Hornsby's Apple Cider. That was a while ago, and I only remember there being two options for Cider back then. It was either Hornsby or Woodchuck. It didn't take long for me to get my fill of Cider and move on to Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat. I never looked back, not until recently at least. It wasn't until people started talking about Crispin Ciders that I really wanted to try another Cider. The one that was most intriguing is called The Saint, it's an apple cider with maple syrup and Belgian yeast. Well, I finally got around to picking on up today...
Surly and coffee are two words I don't think I want to hear in the same sentence. The Surly beers I've had thus far have been just a little too bitter to be enjoyable. Adding coffee to an already bitter beer is not my idea of a good time. That's why I was in no big hurry to open this can of Surly Coffee Bender. I didn't really care for the Bender and it strike me as the kind of beer that could use the addition of coffee. It's come time to clean out the fridge so this can of Coffee Bender has to go, whether it's in my glass or down the drain. I've been surprised by coffee beers in the past so I'm holding out hope the Coffee Bender is more than the sum of its parts.
This can of Surly Hell has been in my beer fridge for close to two months now. After a long morning of running errands and realizing its just barely seventy degrees outside I realized maybe I won't have much time left this season to drink a lighter beer. This can is a mostly an unpainted polished aluminum color with some late 90s green tribal tattooing going on... The lettering reminds me of the Ed Hardy style honestly, and it says LAGER in big white letters. It isn't done in a tongue in cheek manner, and that's a little bothersome. My expectations are pretty low at this point.
Everyone seems to speak so highly of Surly Brewing Company that I started to feel left out because I haven't been able to get my hands on any of their beers. Recently three cans of Surly found their way to me and I couldn't wait to see what all the fuss was about. The first can I opened was Surly's Bender. It was an interesting Oatmeal Brown Ale that I enjoyed but felt was ultimately a little too hoppy for my liking. Today I opened up the second can of Surly in my fridge, it's their Furious IPA. I'm expecting this one to be hoppy but I'm hoping it has more to offer than just bitterness.
This can of Surly Brewing Company's Bender found its way to me through a beer trade. Surly doesn't distribute to my neck of the woods but I had heard some good things about their beers. This was the first Surly I'd had so I went into it with an open mind and an eagerness to try something new. The description on the back of the can certainly got my attention by describing this beer as an "oatmeal brown ale" ... sounds promising. Pouring this (very full) pint sized can into my glass was relatively uneventful. The head was predictably fluffly and the body was a dark reddish brown that only got darker the more it settled. Things were promising but I was suddenly a bit more reserved with my optimism.