Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Surly's Cynic Ale

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Mar 20, 2015 6:20PM

2015_3_20_cynic.jpgThis week, we're focusing on an overlooked member of the year-round offerings from our neighbor to the northwest.

Cynic Ale is a Belgian-Style Farmhouse/Pale Ale from Surly Brewing Co. of Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. It pours a hazy pale-gold color in the glass, with prominent aromas of tangy and spicy yeast. On the palate, the malt profile is smooth and well rounded, with oats in the grain bill lending a soft mouthfeel. There's very little hop character aside from a little floral earthiness on the back end, as the real star here is the yeast strain. It really kicks in mid-palate with a hint of honeysuckle and clove, but that tanginess we picked up on the nose really shines through on the finish. At 6.5% alcohol content, Cynic Ale is a great introduction into the Farmhouse Ale category.

While Surly is best known for their more aggressive beers, Cynic Ale is a great change of pace in their core lineup along with their Helles Lager. Many American breweries are making Belgian-Style Saisons and Farmhouse Ales right now, but a lot of those breweries are making those beers much hoppier than their Belgian counterparts. Like most Belgian Styles these beers are all about imparting flavors from yeast strains, but Saisons traditionally ferment at very high temperatures which will only accentuate a yeast profile more. For a brewery known to turn things up to eleven, it's nice to see Surly not jumping on the bandwagon of making a hopped up rendition of a Saison.

Cynic Ale is available on draft and in 16oz cans, check beermenus.com to see where you can pick some up this weekend.