Surly First Avenue +1 Beer

It's been about six months since the last time Surly brought a new (to Manitoba) beer. So, amongst the first new batch of beer in a while, they collaborated with the folks over at the popular First Avenue nightclub in downtown Minneapolis to create a beer that's described as an easy-drinking, classic-style golden ale ideal for anywhere the music hits you. The key to +1 is balance and simplicity. Subtle hop notes, low bitterness, an a refreshing malt profile carry this light-bodied, low ABV beer.

Appearance: A light cloudy golden ale with an abundance of carbonation and a thick white foamy head on top. This is just about reminiscent to any classic golden ale, kolsch or lager that you see by any craft brewery in this day and age.

Aroma: The profile is very grainy, very sweet malt up front.. a bit sweeter than your typical Labatt 50 or club beer. There's a good presence of honey, some lemongrass, hint of cream corn, and a light spiced hop to give it a unique kick to it. So far, this is definitely heavier than your typical nightclub brew but I think the younger demographics will like it.

Taste: Grassy, grainy/sweet malt profile with notes of lemongrass, a light peppered hop presence, a hint of creaminess, a bit biscuity and a light bitterness that I can't describe that's not typical for your typical golden ales. Fairly dry and has a slight metallic aftertaste at the end.

Overall Thoughts: This isn't something I'd go out craving because I haven't been a fan of Golden Ales since around 2008.. but this is reminding me of a simpler era of summer of 2006/2008 when I used to go out to night clubs in Quebec City and drink Molson Ex or Labatt 50. This is definitely an improvement on the style but coming from Surly.. I'd rather drink Hell. Well, seeing that this is a nightclub beer and they teamed up with the most famous nightclub in Minneapolis, props to them!

As I was looking on First Avenue's website while reviewing this, my favourite Canadian prairie cowboy musician Corb Lund is playing at their venue tonight.. now I wish I was there.. and THEN that'd definitely be a time to enjoy some +1.

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