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Eric Strader
Eric Strader
Eric Strader writes about the craft beer scene in Indiana and Michigan. He's a dad, husband, potter, soccer coach, special education paraprofessional, who likes to read, bike, hike, and canoe.

Three Floyds, Real Ale Brewing and Surly Brewing Collaborate on imperial black IPA

Three breweries, each known for brewing big bold beers, join forces to create a beer that will be distributed in each of their respective home markets.

Posted on Feb. 21, 2014 at 11:17 a.m.

Blakkr (imperial black IPA, 9.99% ABV, IBUs 85), a "black as night" IPA, is a beer just too massive for one brewing team.  So Three Floyds Brewing, Real Ale Brewing, and Surly Brewing, join forces to bring us this beer with a name that is an old Norse word for ‘dark’ or ‘black’.   It has been brewed at all three breweries, and will be released in their own respective markets in their own distinct packaging. 

Three Floyds bombers were released last Saturday, and it is on tap at their pub.  Surly Brewing will release 16 oz. tall boy cans on February 24th, and Real Ale will release 12 oz. cans beginning on March 15th.

Todd Haug, head brewer at Surly Brewing said of the collaboration: “The most metal Brew Masters felt compelled to learn about each other’s brewery processes, drink beer, listen to metal and brew the most metal beer ever. Black as the sky on a moonless night, Blakkr has flavors of black licorice and bitter sweet hops with strong hop aromas of pineapple.”

It is my experience that Three Floyds generally does not feature release events, however, 22 oz. bombers are available for take out at the brewery.  At this time I am unable to confirm where Three Floyds Blakkr might be available other than the brewery itself.

Surly Brewing will be hosting a Blakkr release party at Grumpy’s Downtown Minneapolis on Monday, February 24 at 6pm. There will be Blakkr on tap, as well as various other Surly specials on tap and live music.

Blakkr was brewed with Pale Malt, Carafa Special malt, Oats, Warrior hops for bittering and Simcoe and Centennial aroma hops.


The Blakkr art, by Surly’s artist-in-residence Michael Berglund, was inspired by Medieval engravings of monsters and chimeras. He said: “The idea came from having to please three metal brewers—a three headed beast.” He said the symbols are from Medieval alchemy, and are, in order from left to right: water, alcohol, eternal darkness, fermentation, fire, flavor, pint, grain, trinity, boil, union (collab), carbon dioxide, metal, and wizard. Berglund added: “It’s up to the viewer to decide if the souls in the fire are burning, worshiping, partying, or just asking for a beer.”

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