Looking for somewhere to eat and grab a drink or two before a Minnesota United or Minnesota Gophers game? Look no further Surly has got you covered.
This week is Surly Beer Hall week on Eat.Stretch.Explore. This is the most recent visit (the next few posts were from a while ago, but the beer is still relevant!)
Beer should be the first reason you visit the Surly Brewing Company’s destination brewery (520 Malcolm Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN). Beer should be the reason you go back time and again.
Even if you are planning dinner, and have already taken the tour, make the beer list the first menu you spend time with. It’s extensive and all of the beers on it are Surly’s own creations. Skip the varieties you can find in most restaurants in the upper Midwest and even in cans in liquor stores. That’s Hell and Furious. Both have been around for years. Both are available almost nationwide.
Look at the fun names. Try something seasonal. Or just plan to try a new beer. Don’t let the descriptions get in the way of choosing. As at most breweries, they don’t mean a lot. And don’t trust what you see on their website (https://surlybrewing.com/). What you see on the board over the bar at the Beer Hall means more for your visit than those listed on the web.
When I see mango on a menu, I go for it. So at a stop at the Surly Beer Hall in May I tried “Peel & Squeal.” It definitely has “big sweet tropical fruit aroma,” but the taste is more tart than the tartest lemonade. I loved it but sipped it much more slowly than any beer I’ve had since becoming a craft beer fan.
The “!” on the menu meant it was a new beer. Always try the new beers!
It was just me having a beer that evening. No daughters with me to let me sample their choices. As always, I recommend going with a friend so you can all try something and share, even a taste. I had wanted to try “London Calling,” “Shadow Realm,” and even “Vision Mix,” but we were headed to the Minnesota United soccer game so it was a one-beer visit for me.
I suppose I could have asked if they have flights. But there wasn’t one listed on the menu.
Surly Brewing has wonderful food: A menu that changes frequently while keeping some of their tried and true, and innovative, sandwiches and salads.
Foodwise, Mike liked his “Chopped Brisket Sandwich” for all of the right reasons: tender meat, right amount of spice, fresh crunchy coleslaw. “Very tasty and tender,” he said.
I had the “Pigpile Sandwich.” Loved the flavor of the “smoked rib sausage patty.” I tasted it plain first. Then, I ate the rest with pulled pork as an open-faced sandwich, skipping the top bun because that is what I’ve learned to do and because the bun was very dry. Still an excellent sandwich.
Judging by the dishes hurrying past us, the cheese boards, pierogies, and charcuteries are very popular. Most tables were full of people who seemed to be sharing.
Surly has a very efficient and professional staff, who, despite how busy they always are never forget you and never lose site of your order.
They have a vibrant atmosphere, with picnic table seating indoors all year round, and a large wall of windows on the west end that opens in the summer weather and that faces their outdoor beer garden, itself a lively place with fire pits and tables.
Someday we’ll try the new pizza place upstairs.
Oh, and they have a store where you can buy mugs, sweatshirts, and more. I already have enough, but may need a new t-shirt by the next visit.
If you are into a place with great beer, lots of people, lots of noise and very little parking, Surly Brewing Company’s Beer Hall is for you. If you like quiet, time to think, and no crowds, well, this isn’t your place. Sorry.
If you are visiting the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota, stay at a hotel on the light rail system. The Prospect Park Station on the Green Line is the closest stop to Surly Brewing Company, just a three-block walk.
One last look at this sandwich!
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