In July, SDA toured Surly Brewery In Minneapolis.
A little history on Surly: Surly Brewing Co. founder Omar Ansari had been homebrewing since 1994. After apprenticing at New Holland Brewing Company in Michigan and enlisting Todd Haug of Minneapolis's Rock Bottom Brewery, Surly Brewing began brewing in Brooklyn Center. In February 2011, Surly announced that it intended to open a restaurant and beer garden, which was expected to cost $20 million. The new facility would also increase its brewing capacity to approximately 100,000 barrels. This type of installation was not in line with Minnesota's liquor laws, however. With the help of the Surly Nation, fans of the brewery's beer, some members of the Minnesota Legislature were convinced to propose changes in order to allow it. Minnesota's three-tier liquor sales system would not allow breweries to distribute their beer for retail sale and sell on the brewery's premises, as a brewpub does. After just a few months, changes to Minnesota's liquor laws that would allow Surly to sell beer for consumption at the proposed BrewPub. Known as the "Surly Bill", this bill was signed into law on May 25, 2011. Surly purchased an 8.3 acre plot of land in Prospect Park, Minneapolis for its brewery in April 2013. Designed as a destination brewery on an 8.3-acre site, Surly Brewery reflects the industrial character of the neighborhood's surrounding train yards and grain silos, here reinterpreted with streamlined massing, flat roof, and corrugated-metal siding. Visitors enter along a landscape path. Inside, an open beer hall with long tables features window walls overlooking the brew house at one end and an operable glass wall at the other end leading to an outdoor deck, beer garden, and amphitheater. Upstairs, a mezzanine doubles as a pre-function space, where a balcony offers views of the beer-brewing vessels.