As mentioned during my brief post on the Autumn Beer Review, I picked up my first ever 4-pack of SurlyFest. This beer is Surly Brewing Company‘s “interpretation” of an Oktoberfest-style brew. And I must say, I appreciate their ambition to create something fresh rather than a B or C-grade version of the real thing. Most macro and micro American breweries put out an overly sweet product with a lazy autumn-themed or burnt orange label and call it “Oktoberfest”. Color me unimpressed.
However, SurlyFest has a crispness that matches our climate here. There is definitely a hop presence that is more noticeable than in other Oktoberfest beers. The maltiness is there, but is kept in check to balance with the hops. When you pour it out of the can, you can truly appreciate the copper tone of its body.
I brought my SurlyFest home on a cool Autumn night and enjoyed it with some salami that I purchased from Russ Kendall’s Smoke House. Along with a beautifully ripened tomato from a friend’s garden that I lightly salted, the three items created a satisfying meal that did not even need cooking. I would also like to note that despite this beer being a tip o’ the hat to our German friends, I really recommend SurlyFest with spicy Asian food.