Minnesota's been way peskier of late. They're starting to recruit better talent and hang around in games longer. I remember the streak where Michigan won the Jug like, 20 million years in a row, and even in the Threetpocalypse years, they always shoulda won. Whatever. They used to have guys like Barber and Maroney, who were legit.
Minnesota is on my good list for one reason and one reason only: Surly. Surly is a top-three Big Ten Brewery. (Breweries in Big Ten school towns. Bell's doesn't count for AA or EL, nor does Goose Island count for Illinois. That just isn't right.) Off the top of my head I might even be pressed to say they're top-one, depending on their seasonals.
Oh, Surly, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
I'm a sucker for your branding. Any beer company that's an asshole to me in ways other than taste (here's looking at you, InBev/Heineken) has a vote of confidence in my book. Arrogant Bastard actually has the balls to call not drinking its beer "masturbatory" or something of that ilk. I don't even know. Surly's a dick, and they're cool about it. You know how they say nice guys finish last, because girls fall for bad boys? That's basically how I am for Surly. Mmm, baybeh.
They also use cans. I've written at length about this, but I went up to a brewery once where they were like "yeah, beer was meant to be in cans. it's like a miniature keg right in your hands." If you take one thing away from this blog -besides hating Zach's beer choices - know that light and oxygen are the blitzing linebacker and elbow ligament injuries, respectively, to the Denard Robinson that is good beer. In short, Kryptonite. Putting a beer in a barely-sealed glass bottle that LETS LIGHT IN doesn't seem like a great idea now, does it? Basically, canning reduces the variance that oxygen gets in through a bad seal (way less likely than w/a glass necked bottle) and completely eliminates light pollution. Ever had a Bells that tastes like a Heineken? That's why. Beer skunks. For something so American and simple and wonderful, beer is basically super fragile. Is what it is. So, tl;dr: canning is AWESOME to make sure you've got the quality you want. But people are assholes and think that cans are only for tallboys of shit beer. But they're assholes.
This leads me to the third reason why I'm in love with Surly beer: They have good beer. Like, really good beer. I even like their lager/pils shit, which I normally don't roll with. I like weird stuff. But Furious is really good - it's their hoppier offering I can best describe as a crimson piney ale. It's fine. You hop heads will like it and maybe even see the light. But then they've got Bender - a f'ing delicious oatmeal brown ale - and then they went all out and now do a coffee Bender, malted with coffee and even darker. Hello, gorgeous. And for those of you liking helles bocks, they've got one just called Hell, which is supremely drinkable. I got a mixed pack recently of dem cans and demolished it.
So, if you're in Minnesota, go to Surly. It's delicious. Take the tour, drink the beer, and have fun. And until next time, watch this video of John Navarre beasting the Gophers, and cheers, Michigan Faithful!