Posted 3 weeks ago | Beer, Reviews

Surly Kitsch


A few years ago there was this thing called the IPL (India Pale Lager) that was all the rage. The kids loved it. That, and the black IPA. Silly kids. Eventually, the IPL faded back in to the beery haze from whence it came, only appearing here and there as a one-off on tap lists. More recently, however, I’ve noticed a resurgence in the style, but not by the style to which we were first introduced. Now known as the hoppy lager, the IPL is secretly making a come back (cue LL Cool J).

Surly’s Kitsch is a hoppy lager — sure, there are differences between the IPL and a hoppy lager, but I’m lazy and am going to just lump them both into the same family. Kitsch (6.1% ABV) sees the brewery taking a traditional lager style and dry-hopped it with a pile of Amarillo, Centennial and Citra hop varieties. The lager base is solid enough that all of those hops don’t overwhelm the base flavors and grain bill.

The great thing about dry-hopping the hell out of a lager is that you get all of the citrusy, piney notes of the various varieties employed, a touch of cattiness in the aroma, but also the crispness and refreshing nature of the base style. And that’s what you’ve got here with Surly’s Kitsch. This beer is downright crushable — well, it would have been had it been a bit lighter in the alcohol content. This beer just goes down with dangerous ease.

This is a review of a promotional sample.


Very pale straw in color with a slight haze. A thin cap of white foam settles slowly to a full collar and patchy surface cover.

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