Beer Alert! Surly Darkness tapping Monday at SmallBar, Thursday at Jake Melnick's

Beer Alert! Surly Darkness tapping Monday at SmallBar, Thursday at Jake Melnick's
You can't get the bottles here, but it's on tap tomorrow at Hopleaf!

UPDATE: Surly Darkness, Furious and Four at Bavarian Lodge for Black Friday, and another tapping at Fountainhead in December. Details Here.

The Darkness is spreading all over! Here's a full list of tappings scheduled for this week:

Monday, November 14:

Wednesday, November 16:

Thursday, November 17:

UPDATED UPDATE: Another Surly tapping has been called for Thursday, Nov 17 at Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., Chicago (312) 266-0400. The Surly will be tapped at 6:00 p.m. Additionally, they have a keg of Lagunitas Brown Sugga barley wine that has been in their cellar for a year. Since Lagunitas isn't making Brown Shugga this year, here's your chance to try two big beers together. The Brown Shugga will be opened, per Lagunitas' wishes, at 6:04:20 p.m.

UPDATE: I just got word that SmallBar Division has a half-barrel of SurlyDarkness, to be tapped Monday, November 14 at 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. They're at 2049 W. Division St., Chicago (773) 772-2727. Here's the Facebook invitation.

If you're aware of the reputation of Surly beers, brewed in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center, MN, then you know that they have not been available in Chicago for over a year. When they were, it was on draft only. While they are currently expanding their brewing facility, they have not indicated when they might return. However, Hopleaf has just posted this notice on their Facebook page:

Thursday night (Nov. 10) at 7 we will be tapping SURLY DARKNESS!!!!! One keg and one keg only. They are not back in the Chicago market but are willing to share a VERY limited amount of beer for their friends in Chicago. We will also have one barrel of Furious and one barrel of Damien. Don't wait, there is really, really not much of this around. Upstairs Bar.

Surly Darkness is their once-a-year Imperial Stout, released around Halloween with a different ghoulish bottle design each year. It's currently rated #14 among all imperial stouts on The Surly folks describe it thusly:

This massive Russian Imperial Stout brings waves of flavors; chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee. We add a touch of hops to make this delicious brew even tastier. 85 IBUs

How does Surly manage to get a few beers into Chicago? My guess, and I don't want to jinx anybody by asking them questions, is that they still are contracted to their Chicago distributor, Windy City, so they still send a little draft beer our way. As Jack Kirby once said, "Don't Ask! Just Buy It!"

Furious is Surly's India Pale Ale, made with Golden Promise malt from Scotland, the same malt used in making finer Scotch Whiskeys. Damien, their Black IPA, has just come on the market in the past few weeks, so these are new kegs, not old ones cellared away for this occasion.

The Surly tapping starts Thursday at 7 p.m. at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St. Chicago. Phone: (773) 334-9851. Don't expect it to last long.

There were a few more locations carrying Darkness at last year's release. If I hear of them, they will be updated here and on my Facebook page.

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    Mark McDermott

    Writer, trivia maven, fan of many things. I thought to learn all there is to know about beer as a way to stay interested in learning. It is my pleasure to bring Chicago's craft beer scene to you.

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