IT ALL STARTED IN AN INDUSTRIAL ABRASIVES FACTORY
Like all great stories, this one begins at Ansari Abrasives (later Sparky Abrasives), tucked away in a Brooklyn Center industrial park, owned by first-generation immigrants Naseem (Nick) and Dorit Ansari.
Their son, Omar Ansari, caught the home brewing bug in the early-‘00s when the craft beer industry was a different place, especially in Minnesota. The quest to find a quality craft beer around here really was enough to make a person surly.
THE FRUSTRATING INABILITY TO FIND ONE GOOD BEER
It’s what led Omar and founding head brewer Todd Haug to make the kind of beer they wanted to drink. With Becca (Omar’s wife), Nick, and Dorit’s blessings, a portion of the abrasives factory was converted to a brewery. And, on December 30, 2005, Surly Brewing Co. began.
The first beer was Bender, an oatmeal brown ale. That opened the door. Furious, an aggressively hopped IPA, kicked it in, transforming the way Minnesota thought about craft beer. Word spread, especially among the Twin Cities’ nascent craft beer community. The abrasives factory soon gave way to a full-time brewing facility. Best-of lists and Brewery of the Year honors followed. Something was happening here.
It soon became clear that the repurposed abrasives factory was nowhere near big enough to keep up with demand. Trips to Europe and California sold Omar on the idea of a destination brewery, one that could produce enough beer for Surly Nation at large while combining beer, food, and community for a singular experience.
DON’T SETTLE. GET SURLY.
Surly head brewer Ben Smith continues the relentless pursuit of craft beer perfection, pushing boundaries and refusing to brew to style (except for when we do). The brewery now has capacity to serve eight states and one province. Our year-round line-up includes eight styles, while our seasonal styles, small batches, and brand collaborations continue to innovate. Darkness, our acclaimed Russian Imperial Stout, organically developed its own annual Darkness Day.
Surly has been a proudly independent craft brewery for 13 years. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Don’t Settle. Get Surly.