Surly #Merica!

We live in the greatest country in the world. Yes, it has its flaws, but it is still a land with more freedom and opportunity than anywhere else. Every so often we need to be reminded of that because the rhetoric too often focuses on the bad and not the good. If you need to be reminded of just how much opportunity there is in this country, just consider that we crossed the 5,000 mark for breweries in the United States. No other country comes close in sheer number. And, yes, some of that has to do with the size of our country, but even breaking it down per capita still leaves us towards the top. And the numbers just continue to grow. Bridgman, Michigan, with a population just over 2,000 has 3 breweries with a fourth a couple miles down the road. This is indeed the land of opportunity.

So let’s celebrate that opportunity with a can of #Merica!, a pre-Prohibition style lager from Minnesota’s Surly. It is indeed tongue-in-cheek, a slight poke at a certain subset of us who get perhaps a little too excited about the good old US of A (myself included) and almost certainly a retort to Budweiser’s annual AmeriCan redesign (even more fitting since Budweiser renamed itself America for the summer this year). There’s a founding father, an eagle and the Statue of Liberty holding beers on the can. The fact it is called #Merica! and not simply Merica furthers the absurdity. And while it is certainly a brilliant marketing move, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good beer.

First there is the crisp hop bite that has been dumbed down by other so-called American lagers. It’s fruity, herbal and spicy, reminiscent of a true pilsner. And the use of corn in the malt bill, unfairly derided as a junk adjunct due to its prescence in macro lagers, does more than just stand as a cheap substitute for barley. It softens the mouthfeel and adds a touch of sweetness to the aroma. And yes, I’m a little out of season for drinking it (this can is date coded 6/10/16), but it’s still holding up very well. If there’s still a couple four packs lingering on the shelf near you, grab some and celebrate America today. Shotgunning one would probably even be encouraged.

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