Last week I went to local liquor stores like countless other people to grab bottles of Surly Five, Surly Brewing Company’s fifth anniversary beer.  This week the draft version was released in the Twin Cities area and it’s time to get it while it lasts.  Like all of the Surly anniversary beers, Five was a chance for them to try something new and different.  A 100% brett fermented dark ale aged in red wine barrels.

I’d gone to the draft release party at Republic MN on Monday.  At the release I found Five to be much less sour than I’d expected after having Pentagram, a single barrel tasting of Five, multiple times at the various Surly 5th Anniversary parties.  Maybe it was the mini pint glasses they served it in or maybe it was the atmosphere.  Who knows but when I had it again at Muddy Waters it was like a totally different beer and much more the way I remember Pentagram being.  Wonderful notes of sour black cherry, light oakiness, and funk.  I’m looking forward to drinking plenty more at bars around the Twin Cities while it’s still available.  Off to the cellar with the bottles I picked up at the liquor store for another time some months or years from now.

The bottle label reads:

In the Surly brewhouse, brewing our Anniversary beers means one thing: forget what ya know and try something different. In honor of FIVE glorious years, we bring you a 100% Brettanomyces-fermented Dark Ale, aged in red wine barrels. Flavors of sour cherry, tobacco, oak and classic “Brett” barnyard funk, balanced by Dark Munich malt chewiness. Enjoy immediately or age at cellar temperature for a couple years. 100% Brettanomyces-fermented Dark Ale aged in red wine barrels.

Five has strong flavors of earthy black cherry and raisins with a sour finish.
STYLE: Brett Dark Ale
MALT: German Dark Munich and Carafa III
HOPS: Willamette
YEAST: Brettanomyces anomalus and Clausenii
ABV: 7.5% v/v
IBU: 14