Surly Brewing Company


As one of Minnesota’s best known breweries, Surly is a must-visit on any brewery beginner’s list. It’s oftentimes the site of someone’s first brewery tour, and an impressive introduction to what a beer hall can be.

The taproom is optimized for seating. Due to its popularity, the space has to be. Behind massive windows, patrons can gaze upon an impressive brewhouse, filled with shiny tanks that reflect the bright lights of the taproom.

On a Friday evening at dinner time, the beer hall was packed with beer drinkers and foodies alike. My group nestled in at the edge of a long picnic-style table, alongside a horde of other craft beer geeks. Despite the busyness, staff was quick, attentive, and friendly. Even when prompted for several beer descriptions, they never gave the impression that they had dozens of other customers to serve.

I started my evening with an Overrated West Coast IPA. True to style, and filled with dry hopping flavor, it was a great start to the night. I also snuck a few sips of Bender, an Oatmeal Brown Ale. Surprisingly, I might have preferred it over the IPA, a phenomenon I never would have predicted.

My advice came from that same, easygoing server. Tess, a yoga instructor, told me to put yourself first.


Tess expanded, “You have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and that you’re happy before you can take care of others.” As a young adult, I’ve learned a piece of this advice from my own experience.  I’ve found it unexpectedly important to be comfortable in one’s own skin, despite doubts or unsure futures. And it shouldn’t have to take a couple beers to get there.

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