The monster depicted on the newest release of Surly Brewing Co.’s most popular stout was taken from classic Greek mythology.
According to a label filed with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), Darkness 2020 is a 12 percent ABV Russian imperial stout brewed with pale ale, golden promise, crystal, dark crystal, oats, black, chocolate, and roast malts, as well as Amarillo, Columbus, and Simcoe hops and Belgian dark candi sugar and packaged in 750ml bottles. The imperial stout has historically been released during Surly’s Darkness Day, an annual event dedicated to all thing Darkness that typically runs over an entire weekend.
The Minneapolis-based brewery’s Darkness series started in 2007 and has featured a different monster on the bottle every year since it was first released, with past years’ label art having depicted the Minotaur, “a screeching bat nightmare,” a mummy, the Devil, a vampire, a werewolf and the Grim Reaper. This year’s monster is a Gorgon, a “vicious female monster from Greek mythology with sharp fangs and hair of living, venomous snakes” with art drawn by artist Barbara Guttman.
An email sent to the brewery for additional information was not immediately returned.