Surly Bender

September 28, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Surly, Country: America, Grade: A-, Style: Brown Ale.

5.1% ABV from a one-pint can

Criticizing the blue collar never wins you friends, but screw it:

Why are New York construction workers so fucking noisy?

You say, because they’re drilling, soldering, hammering, nailing, building and destroying. No, believe me, I understand that. What I mean is why are construction workers so fucking loud when they aren’t doing work? So loud while they are simply talking? While they are simply existing?

I sit in my room right now behind a closed door. Travel further down a long lag putt distance of hallway to my thick metal front door. Down the steps two full flights where you would find a crew of men currently doing some seemingly minor work to my shitty building this weekend. Quite a ways away from me and my god can I barely focus on watching bad football as these motherfuckers are so loud. It seems like they actually work only about one minute out of every hour, and that is sadly the most peaceful minute! I can handle the repetitive mundane sounds of nailing or drilling, but when these three gents aren’t working they are insufferable.

It’s an occupational prerequisite I’ve come to notice and not just something atypical coming from this troika. All construction workers in New York are obscenely noisy. Firstly, they talk so loud. Telling boring anecdotes about “banging” some girl or last night’s sports action or whether they are gonna get peppers or not on their Italian hero at lunch. Are they hard of hearing from a lifetime of being outside and working near loud power-tools? Possibly. So I’ll excuse the talking element and instead focus on their other aural annoyances.

Moments of “Walden”-esque quiet solitude don’t exist in the life of a New York City construction worker:

When they eat, they loudly chomp on their meal, spittle and foodstuff flying everywhere.

When they are alone they can’t just sit and think.  Or read.  Or just be.  They are always in motion.  Loudly tapping their empty water bottles on walls or the ground, wannabe Keith Moons in coveralls.  And the whistling, oh the whistling.  Why do construction workers love to whistle so much?  Is there are more annoying sound than a poorly whistled ditty?  I could handle it if they were Axl at the beginning of “Patience” but believe me they aren’t.

The chronic whooping coughs aren’t pleasant to the ears either.  Constant hacking and phlegmy noises and eruptions create a cacophony of sounds that rock my ears.

How bout their Nextels?  Of course the most annoying men in the city must have the most annoying communications device since A.G. Bell.  Despite the fact that they are only a few feet away from their cohorts, these men must use the walkie-talkies at all times, a never-ending whirl of chirps permeating my brain.


“Yo, did you wan’ peppahs on your sangwich?”


“Yeah.  Lotta dem.  Oh, and get me a’ sugah free Red Bull too, wouldja?”


“Yo, you ain’t gonna believe dis hot piece of ass in fronta me in line.”


“No shit?  Ax her for her numbah.”


“Already did, bro.”


“Nice job faggot!”


“I’ll be bangin’ her by tonight.  You won’t believe da tits on dis bitch.”

And don’t forget about the cat-calling. Any being with presumably a vagina that comes within fifty feet of a construction worker gets yelled at no matter how unattractive they are. When I see this I just want to sprint up to the crew and shake the shit out of them, explaining how they ruin it for us civilized men when they cat-call every single woman willy-nilly. Cat-calling an ugly woman just buoys her spirits and gives her a healthy boost of undeserved self-confidence. Now the ugly woman thinks she can act all haughty and supercilious toward her suitors, while the average and truly attractive women think they are goddesses. Message to cat-calling construction workers: please be more discriminating as you’re fucking shit up for all of us.  Oh, but please go ahead and hit on the hotties that vamp in front of my building.

I didn’t want to start drinking during the day, but with the weather grim outside and no friends available to rescue me from the construction crew (they’re talking about “Law & Order” right now, arguing whether that “fag” from “Sex and the City” was ever on the original show:  “Swear ta’ gawd, he once was, bro.”), I’m forced to.

Bender has a Coca-Cola brown pour with a hot chocolate foam head. Smells fantastic and potent, like a strong ale.  The taste is pretty unique. It’s considered a brown ale and while I’m not sure if it is the best I’ve ever had, it’s certainly the most complex. Tastes of oatmeal, roasted coffee, and with a creamy finish. I’d like it to be perhaps a little more carbonated, but it’s damn fine.  A very nice brew indeed.

I’m liking you Surly–you deserve to be a national beer.


5 Responses to “Surly Bender”

  1. amm002 says:

    Like the new site. I agree, it’s a good beer. It gets mixed reviews from folks around here for some reason.

  2. Aaron Goldfarb says:

    Mixed reviews?! That’s insane, it’s a great beer. Having now had three top-notch Surlys–and speculating that the rest of their line is equal or better–I totally think the brewery deserve mention among the top 20-30 craft breweries in America. They make good, and very interesting stuff.

  3. amm002 says:

    They also make a Coffee Bender, which they had at the beer festival this weekend, I forgot to put it on the review list. Very, very good. I also have some Surly Oktoberfest I’m saving for you. Hopefully I can get the Darkness to accompany it.

  4. Aaron Goldfarb says:

    I’m getting too excited for the Darkness. I need to temper that lest I have my heart broken!

    I see that BA lists their SurlyFest as a rye beer. What up with that? I assume it just goes along with all the Surly beers being impossible to pigeonhole under one specific style? Whatever the case, it sounds awesome.

  5. amm002 says:

    Yeah, it’s a little different than your usual Oktoberfest. Made with traditional German malts and some Crystal Rye mixed in. But they also dry hop, different than most (all) German lagers, giving it that distinctive Surly taste.

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