Another weekend, another beer festival.  Ok, I kid.  But Nate and I went to a beer festival this last weekend.  We decided to skip the Autumn Brew Review this year in favor of instead going to our first ever SurlyFest held at the Surly Brewing Company main taproom in Minneapolis – which is basically their version of an Oktoberfest.  It was a lot of fun and you got a lot of bang for your buck!

$40 got you into the event, you got 12 tickets to spend on beer and food and you got to keep your mug.  Additional tickets could be purchased if you ran out. It was an unbelievably gorgeous day – the event was held outdoors kind of behind their main facility.  It was the first time they held it in their new location and from what we heard there was much more space for the same amount of people, so you could definitely spread out more than what it sounds like you could in years past.


We were a little worried before arriving, the event coordinator sent out emails to everyone with tickets cautioning that parking would be next to nothing due to Homecoming going on at the University of Minnesota which is essentially down the road.  Since my parents were babysitting Ollie anyway, we enlisted their help in transportation and it actually went pretty smoothly.

We got in the gates just a little after they opened at 2:00 and of course got a beer right away.  We found a couple of buddies from high school and kind of ended up tagging along with them.  We were lucky to find a spot at a table under a tent and just kind of camped out there.  There was a great band playing polka music.  Nate got us some sort of pork, potato and slaw thing that was amazing.


The polka band only played for about an hour though and then they had a DJ the second hour – I’d be ok with that, but I have to say #OLDLADY – it was a wee bit on the loud side.  You kids keep that music down, people are trying to talk over here!  But they were playing a decent mix, so it could have been worse I suppose!  A second band took the stage later that was kind of a mix between jazz and ska and I don’t know what, but they were pretty fun, high energy.


Between the beer, the tents and the food, it truly felt like an Oktoberfest style celebration.  It was a nice way to just kick back on a beautiful Fall day.  We hit up the Merch tent and got shirts (and they match, cause we’re dorks like that) and then because I had won a gift card at the Surly Disc Golf tournament we played earlier this summer, we also hit up the Surly store inside the brewery and I got a shirt there too.  Overall it was a low key, laid back beer celebration, but you know what?  I dig that.  I love going to the events where there are lots of beers to sample and taste, but there’s something to be said for a slower pace like this too.  I’d definitely consider heading back to this one next year.

Now we’re gearing up for our own Oktoberfest this weekend!  Nate’s been busily working on beers, they’re all legged and getting nice and chilled in our bar and we’ll be all set.  I truly look forward to this event every year and I’m so excited it’s almost here – sure came up fast!  Where did September go?

Do you celebrate Oktoberfest?

5 thoughts on “SurlyFest

  1. Kids these days and their loud music! I swear my kids are always getting yelled at for blaring their music! I actually cannot stand beer–I don’t know why. It seems like a great thing but I never can get into it.

  2. This sounds like such a perfect fall date day! Good beer, good food, and good music (except for when darn kids play it too loud! ha!) are three of my favorite things. So happy you guys enjoyed it!

  3. This sounds like a lot of fun! Aaron and I have only been to one beer fest before, and it was a blast. This is a great reminder that I need to find another one to go to!

  4. I’m with you on music being too loud..I was at a fundraiser last weekend and they had a band, and it was 1. too loud, and 2. the music started playing at 9:45, I was on my way out the door and to bed!

  5. Sounds like it was a great time!! I’m so bummed that we can’t make it to your Oktoberfest this year. We will have to figure out a time to get together soon!

Leave a Reply to Gina Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *