Surly Brewing is a storied Minnesota craft beer brand. That story began with Omar Ansari, an avid homebrewer who decided to transform part of his parents’ abrasives factory, Ansari Abrasives (later renamed Sparky Abrasives), into a craft brewery. That factory became the birthplace of Surly Brewing Co., which officially started on December 30, 2005, with the launch of Bender, an oatmeal brown ale, which set the tone for the company’s awesome future offerings. Over the last two decades, Surly Brewing has grown into the 42nd biggest craft brewery in the United States by sales volume, according to the Brewers Association 2022 Top 50 list. Just watch the video above to get a feel for how expansive this brewery has become.
Surly Brewing Co., which is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been recognized for its aggressive branding and irreverent attitude, aligning with its Surly Nation of fans. The brewery has broken down a lot of barriers and created a unique culture for Minnesota craft. One of the most notable beer events in the United States is Darkness Day, which began in 2007 and is (among other things) a celebration of Surly’s Russian imperial stout named Darkness. Surly Brewing even helped change the beer laws of Minnesota, which prevented production breweries from selling beer onsite. The “Surly Bill” passed on May 24, 2011, which helped loads of new breweries and taprooms open up throughout the state.
In December 2014, the Brooklyn Center taproom poured its last pint and Minneapolis’ Prospect Park neighborhood officially became home to the Surly Destination Brewery. The 50,000 sq-ft facility hosts a brewhouse, beer hall, beer garden, company store, event center, pizza restaurant and Festival Field concert venue. That’s a pretty amazing evolution. The Surly Brewing journey, going from part of an abrasives factory to a prominent name in the craft beer world, is a testament to the power of innovation, family support and community engagement in the brewing industry. Learn more about the brand’s success in the video above.