Surly Brewing and Surly bikes are not the same thing, but the do get along. When the Minneapolis company famous for the ever-popular fat bikes was approached by a pair of homebrewers in 1999, they reached a gentleman’s agreement on the use of the Surly name.
The brewery just recently started expanding out of the Minneapolis area and Wild Tomato picked up one of their first kegs of Furious, and American IPA and British ESB (extra special bitter) hybrid. The amber colorer ale has a bitter finish, but only after citrusy hop and chewy caramel malt for some sweetness.
The hops used include Warrior, Ahtanum, Cascade, Simcoe and Amarillo, which give it the distinct IPA experience. But the Scottish malt, still produced in the tradition of turning over the barley by hand, levels out the hop to improve drinkability.
But the strong hop still needs an equally strong food on your plate to level the playing field. IPA’s typically go well with fried food, such as Wild Tomato’s county-wide favorite hand battered Fried Cheese Curds. ESB’s are a great match for pizza, which you will find in ample supply at Wild Tomato. Since sweet caramel malts ring through this amber beer, a pizza on the lighter side, such as the Smoked Pork BBQ, should round out your meal nicely.