Expanding Surly to step outside Minnesota again

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Three years ago, Surly Brewing pulled out of the Chicago market, as well as the Dakotas and Wisconsin, in an effort to better take care of a fast-growing base of home-state Minnesota fans.

But with big expansion plans and a new brewery under construction, Surly is going to blow back into the Windy City Nov. 18 as it starts looking again at moves into other markets, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The newspaper reports that Surly will once again be available at "a limited amount of bar and retail accounts, which are currently being determined," the brewery says.

To start, fan-favorite Surly Furious will be available on draft, and other Surly beers — including Furious, Overrated!, Bender, Coffee Bender, Hell, and Cynic – will be available in 16-ounce cans, the Tribune reports. Some of those ultimately will be sold on draft, too.

It was just a few weeks ago that Surly broke ground on its new $20 million destination brewery in Minneapolis' Prospect Park neighborhood, which will allow the company to increase production by four times to about 100,000 gallons.

Surly produced a mere 1,600 kegs in its first year; last year it was 40,000, founder Omar Ansari told the Business Journal in an interview last month. He told the publication, "We’re not even in St. Cloud or the lakes area up north, and we pulled out of markets like Chicago and Wisconsin a few years ago to focus on the Twin Cities market, so we know we’ve got some spots we can go back to. We’ll see how thirsty Minnesotans are and go from there, I guess."

Here's Surly's announcement on Facebook.

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