Surly Brewing‘s new BC Small Batch beer started as an attempt to solve a Beer Hall problem. The quandary: How to accommodate celebrants hoping to raise champagne toasts at their Destination Brewery for various weddings, birthdays, and graduations. This is extraordinarily difficult when you’re a Beer Hall, not a Champagne Hall — their brewers accepted the challenge and got to work crafting this new brew.
Using champagne yeast, fruit, and a hell of a lot of carbonation, they created Frisson, a champagne-style lager that became a word-of-mouth hit at the Brewery. It turned out that “regular” craft beer drinkers were just as enamored of the beer’s dry, fruit-forward character as the wine/champagne crowd was. It is now just as popular on Tuesday afternoons as it is on Saturday nights, and is one of the most common “When are you gonna can this” requests Surly receives from visitors.
That time is now, as Frisson steps up as the next BC Small Batch beer. 4-packs of 16 oz. cans are hitting Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Chicagoland as you read this.
The brewers hit on the sparkling wine profile using black currants and pitching a secondary champagne yeast at the end of primary fermentation, which dried the beer out even further. Highly carbonated to enhance the effect, Frisson’s notes of white wine and honey would make it an ideal “champagne of beers” if that title wasn’t already taken. As is, it’s a champagne-style lager that’s perfect for a special occasion or watching Jeopardy in a bathrobe.
You do enough settling. That’s part of life. You owe it to yourself to drink a beer that doesn’t settle. Not settling drives Surly. It’s what drove us to convert a Brooklyn Center abrasives factory to a brewery in 2004. It’s what drove Surly’s owner, Omar Ansari, to go bar to bar, asking them to carry our beer. It’s what drove us to earn medals from the Great American Beer Festival and Best Brewery in America honors. It’s what drove us to change a Minnesota law that had been on the books since Prohibition. It’s what drove us to build a state-of-the-art destination brewery in the heart of the Twin Cities in 2014 featuring a massive beer hall, outdoor beer garden, Surly Pizza Upstairs and event center. And it’s what drives us today. Surly’s not for everyone. It’s for you. Don’t settle. Get Surly.