Surly Brewing Reveals Expansion Plans

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (February 2011) - Surly Brewing, the Brooklyn Center-based brewery, is calling on the state of Minnesota to change a law in order to create a $20 million brewery and restaurant/bar event center that will not only help grow its business but will also support the local economy.

Over the past five years, Surly Brewing has gone from virtually unknown to one of the Twin Cities' most popular microbreweries and a national player when it comes to notable beer. Winner of various national brewing accolades and awards, the Minnesota brewer produced nearly 12,000 barrels of beer in 2010 (that's almost 3 million pints of beer), up 32 percent from 9,087 barrels in 2009 - overall, business is up 1,272 percent since its launch just five years ago.

Surly Brewing Toasts Five Years in 2011

"We've had an unbelievable five years," Surly Brewing Founder and President Omar Ansari said. "We've already expanded several times and we are ready to take a big step to continue to grow our business and brew even more beer to meet demand."

Surly Brewing was named the country's best brewery in 2007 by Beer Advocate and Ansari was recognized by Ernst & Young, which named him one of its entrepreneurs of the year in 2010. Ansari is also the Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild President

To satisfy ever-increasing demand in Minnesota and beyond, the brewery needs to build a second production site. But the new complex will be much more than just a brewery: Surly Brewing wants to create a complete destination for Minnesota and national beer lovers. The new $20 million, 60,000 square feet Surly Brewery would include a bar, 250-seat restaurant, roof deck and an event center. It would be a place for people to gather and socialize over a Minnesota beer.

"Minnesota has great beer," Ansari said. "We've heard from fans around the globe telling us that they love Surly. We want to support this state as being a destination and we believe our new brewery will help support that and will serve as a place for the growing amount of beer lovers to gather."

But Surly Brewing needs a change in the state law. Currently, Minnesota liquor licensing laws only allow brewpubs to brew and serve their beer on the premises. But, Surly Brewing is classified differently than brewpubs because it brews more beer than is allowed under a brewpub license, making it impossible for it to build a bar or restaurant within any brewery it runs.

Minnesota Beer Equals Minnesota Jobs

Surly Brewing is not looking for tax breaks or subsidies, it is only asking for the chance for Minnesota breweries to be able to apply to their local government for a license to have a bar/restaurant attached to a brewery.

Surly Brewing predicts that its proposed second brewery would significantly increase its output, create more tax revenue, stimulate the local area and would also help create more jobs in the Minnesota beer distribution and retail industry and beyond. Surly Brewing currently has more than 600 sales accounts.

This venture will create as many as 150 permanent Minnesota jobs, as many as 85 construction jobs and will drastically increase its impact on the economy over the short and long term. Research shows additional jobs in the brewing industry have a ripple affect through the whole economy. According to statistics from the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute, the Minnesota beer industry contributed $602.7 million in federal, state, and local taxes in 2008. The Beer Institute also found that the Minnesota beer industry's economic impact helped sustain 27,296 jobs and $804.2 million in wages - just 324 Minnesota brewing jobs had an induced economic impact of more than $2.5 billion.

Surly Brewing is taking its case to legislators right now and ongoing updates are available on its website,

About Surly Brewing

In 2006, Surly owner Omar Ansari and master brewer Todd Haug put the finishing touches on their big idea. They liked beer, felt it should be brewed a certain way, and had expectations of what defined good beer. The motivation for the big idea was the fact that Ansari and Haug, along with current (and soon to be) beer lovers were growing "surly" because they couldn't find enough good beer.

It started in Ansari's garage in 1994. After outgrowing the garage and receiving an education in beer making, the genesis for Surly Brewing was born. A space was procured in 2005, previously the home of his parents' abrasives manufacturing business - the very building used by Omar's Pakistani father and German mother to build their own business 40 years before.

By the end of 2005, all systems were finally 'go'; Surly sold its first keg on February 2, 2006 and has never looked back. Now, five years on, after unbelievable growth and an expanding family of beers, Surly is on tap at more than 100 local Minnesota bars and restaurants. More information can be found at

Founder & Chief Executive Advocate

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