Rain or shine, you can be sure that SurlyFesters will show up in full-force. When the 7th Annual SurlyFest opened on September 20th at 2 pm, the crowd couldn’t wait to get in and rush past Gastrotruck and Natedogs to get their first sweet taste of their favorite Surly beers or taste one of a few new unique brewery offerings. Admission provided attendees with a commemorative half-liter glass beer stein, access to some fantastic beer, music, and 4 drink tickets.
The tap list included Furious, Bender, Cacao Bender, Cultivate (dandelion saison), Todd the Axe Man (IPA named for Surly’s Director of Brewing Operations and guitar shredder), and of course, SurlyFest. After filling their steins, the crowd was ready to hear some traditional Oktoberfest jams from none other than Alpensterne a.k.a.The Bratwurst Bros or get some grub from one of the food trucks.
Fest-goers spent the first 3 hours of SurlyFest basking in glorious sunshine, using the tents only for reprieve from the sun. At around 5pm, the sunny weather changed and hundreds took to the tents when the wind switched and the rain began to dump down. Hoards of beer fans drank and toasted each other, “Zicke zacke zicke zacke! Hoi hoi hoi!” Some of the brave stayed out in the rain, took to the puddle-filled dance area, and sang along while DJ Shannon Blowtorch pumped “Turn Down for What” from the speakers.
The 7th Annual SurlyFest came to an end as the rain let up. The tents emptied in a mass exodus, festers left the brewery grounds just as quickly as they had filled them 4 hours earlier. As the grounds emptied and the clean up crew followed behind them, a rainbow appeared. Not very metal for a brewery like Surly (don’t tell that to Dio). Perhaps it was a not a rainbow, but a Norse Bifröst symbolizing a bridge from the last SurlyFest at the old brewery to the new SurlyFest location at the nearly complete Surly Brewery in Minneapolis. Then again, maybe some unicorns just wanted to make last call.