Surly Brewing Co. is going international.
The Minneapolis craft-beer maker is now distributing to Manitoba.
The brewing company started selling three of its most popular beers — Furious, Hell and Todd the Axe Man — this week in the Canadian province that borders Minnesota to the northwest.
Canadian liquor laws are, in many ways, more restrictive than in the U.S. and Minnesota. Any Minnesotan vacationing in Canada has likely discovered the rules and selection vary from province to province.
In Manitoba, alcohol is sold at a mix of government-run and privately owned wine and beer stores. The Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries (MBLL), a Crown corporation, "is really focused on growing craft beer availability throughout the province due to the growing demand from consumers," said Tiffany Jackson, a Surly spokeswoman. "So, our first entry has been smooth."
Surly's foray into Manitoba will be draft only for now, with can distribution beginning in the fall. On Wednesday, Surly is the featured vendor at four Liquor Marts Growler Bars throughout the province and will be available at the Quality Inn Beer Store in Winnipeg and select restaurants and bars.
Barley Brothers, which calls itself the "craft beer capital of Winnipeg," is hosting a Surly launch party Thursday night. Surly will also be one of the featured beers at the Flatlander's Beer Festival this weekend in Winnipeg.
"We are thrilled to be working with the MBLL to bring our craft beer to Manitoba," Omar Ansari, founder and president of Surly, said in a statement. "As a Minnesota-based brewery, we are familiar with long winters, hockey and drinking good beer — the cornerstones of northern culture. We look forward to growing the Surly Nation in Winnipeg and beyond."