As an amateur beer connoisseur (and one who has had craft beer from all around the world) I can say with a fair amount of confidence that Minnesota has the best craft beer scene around. There are plenty of cool Minnesota based breweries, and all of them are worth checking out, but the one that dominates the entire scene hands down, is the behemoth that is Surly Brewing.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out their establishment in Minneapolis, you’re missing out. It’s one of the 7 wonders of Minnesota. I recently had the opportunity to try their Dark Phase Stout, and as always, I wasn’t disappointed. The first element of this little treasure I noticed was it’s deep, rich color.

I couldn’t help but to admire the hypnotic visual aesthetic of this brew (not to mention, the design on the can is too cool to ignore.) Clocking in at 5.5% ABV, it’s actually a rather manageable stout. The texture is just right – not particularly thick (which I love in a dark beer) but it still maintains that signature Surly bite.

You’ll be able to pick up subtle, yet distinct flavors from the malts used to brew it (Golden Promise, Aromatic, Crystal, Chocolate, Black Malt, and Roasted Barley.) The Dark Phase Stout is similar in flavor to many other darker Surly beers, but without the heavy, overly thick texture. Whether it’s your intro to darker brews or if you’re a seasoned pro, I definitely think you’ll enjoy it.