Just last month chef Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing was at the James Beard Awards as a nominee for Best Chef Midwest; now he finds himself in search of a new opportunity as Surly Brewing announces an August closure of the boundary-pushing Brewer’s Table, the fine dining restaurant he led. In an interview with the Star Tribune, Surly’s owner Omar Ansari said, “With the Brewer’s Table, we’ve raised the bar with food and beer pairings. Two years later, it feels like we’ve accomplished those things, and now it feels like it’s time for a change for Surly.”
It’s been almost exactly two years since Brewer’s Table opened as the final piece of the mega-brewery in Minneapolis’ Prospect Park neighborhood. A downstairs taproom and more casual eatery had been drawing huge crowds and long waits since day one. Both eateries were created by Guzman. Brewer’s Table served seasonal ingredients in inventive ways, paired with Surly’s extensive beer collection. No other fine dining restaurant in the Twin Cities had a tasting menu like the one there.
While the fine-dining will go, the taproom will continue to serve hog frites and the more casual beer-friendly foods Surly fans adore. Guzman will leave the company after the restaurant closes.
He is the second recent high-profile departure for Surly. In November head brewer Todd Haug left the brewery and the Twin Cities.
Surly has been a leader in local brewing with a rabid fanbase. They are credited with the monumental expansion of local taprooms after pushing through legislature, commonly known as the Surly bill, which allowed breweries to sell pints of their beer on site.
Guzman came to the brewery after three and a half years running downtown Minneapolis’ now-defunct Solera.
In addition to the James Beard nomination, last summer Food & Wine Magazine declared Brewer’s Table one of the most exciting restaurants in the country. Brewer’s Table currently has a 4 1⁄2 out of five-star review on Open Table. Mpls./St. Paul Magazine’s critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl declared it “amazing,” with beer pairings so good they were “mind-boggling.” Minnesota Monthly’s critic and WCCO personality Jason DeRusha crowed his experience his best meal of 2015.
No word on the exact date of the final service, but Brewer’s Table will continue to serve until some time in early August.