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Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BenderBender

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,527 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,527
Reviews: 724
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 427
Gots: 169 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Here's what happens when substance meets smooth. This oatmeal brown ale defies traditional categories. Bender begins crisp and lightly hoppy, complemented by the velvety sleekness oats deliver. Belgian and British malts usher in cascades of cocoa, coffee, carmel and hints of vanilla and cream. An easy-drinking ale with many layers of satisfaction.

(Beer added by: tavernjef on 02-04-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,527 | Reviews: 724 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16 oz can pours a dark garnet color with a moderate cap of creamy tan foam. Retention is average and lacing is pretty good.

Nose is roasted chocolate with some nutty, marshmallow and fruity aspects. Absolutely wonderful, hops are there harmoniously with caramel sweetness.

Wow, unbelievable. It is like a coconut-almond chocolate bar sprinkled with fresh ground coffee and shredded hop cones. Hands down the best brown ale I have ever had and might be my favorite sub-6% brew ever. Hops are just perfectly integrated and the mouthfeel so creamy. I would be hard pressed to ever get sick of this extraordinary beer were I to have unlimited access to it. Wonderful!

Serving type: can

09-09-2010 01:05:24 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Halloween frosty sent via
CEO / Old farters from unclejedi - many thanks again.

Damn close to black pour, tan head on this one is impressive as it floats and coats all the freakin way down the ol’ Cordendonk tulip.

Rich chocolatey whiff of malty oats, not bad at all. The amount of hop balance is ideal with this brew, nay, I say this is an exceptional AMERICAN brown ale. Even a pop of sweet coffee will adds to the tasting sensation. Easy drinking medium body - Yep, I’d have to say this is one great sessional brown.

You gotta try it, cause – this is one great canned beer, meant for a glass. Lightweight shipping, no light struck problems, perfect size of 16oz – the way of the future!

Serving type: can

11-01-2007 00:22:57 | More by Vancer
Photo of icemonkey908
icemonkey908

Minnesota

4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap a while ago. Presented a wonderful dark brown in the pint glass. I remember being surprised by the flavor of this one. It is not like other brown ales I have had but it is definitely a wonderful beer with very complex flavor. The flavor is nutty, with hints of chocolate and a lot of malt with just the right amount of hops to bring it all together. Delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2007 04:54:54 | More by icemonkey908
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into NBB snifter.
A: Very dark brown with nice creamy tan head. Lingers well with good lacing.
S: Mmmmm...very complex...citrus hops, malt, oatmeal, and more.
T: Lives up to the anticipation the smell brings...nice balance of citrus hops and roasted malts. Smooth, but with a little dry bite at the end. Very fresh taste and the different notes intermingle...at once dry and hoppy, the next moment darker tones and malt are coming through. I pick up oatmeal and honey too. Excellent and very satisfying for discriminating tastes.
M: Simply wonderful. Smooth and medium bodied with a dry edge. Taste lingers nicely on the tongue.
D: You want to enjoy this baby. Take the time...certainly more than one will do just fine! So far Surly is living up to the hype...I've tried Furious as well and both are amazing beers...can't wait to try more from them.
FYI--Their beers aren't filtered or pasteurized...so keep 'em cold or they may suffer.

Serving type: can

02-23-2008 21:26:21 | More by mwilbur
Photo of CultureJamMN
CultureJamMN

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've never had a beer where upon completion I felt compelled to write a thank you letter to the brewer... until Bender.

I am a brown ale fan, but I like porters as well... this brew is a blend that is like something that was developed with me alone in mind.

Beautiful cola color with a cappucino foam head. Head lasts almost all the way through, lacing great for a brown ale.

The aroma is caramel, with cocoa and a bit of dark fruit. Quite pleasant.

The taste is this excellent dance between brown ale and porter that you never really figure out. Fantastic doesnt do the taste justice.

All in all, this is my new default brew. It's the first one i'll look for when entering any bar. I could see drinking 6 easily.

If this is an indication of where Surly will be going... I'm sold.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2006 16:57:22 | More by CultureJamMN
Photo of Stoneman78
Stoneman78

California

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One pint can, contents poured into Sam Adams Specialty glass

Appearance is a clear, deep brown hue with amber highlights, big thick brown craggy head mostly sustains, thin spotty lacing

Smell is a nice mix of malts including sweet cocoa, roast, toffee, coffee, and caramel, tones of nuts and surprising amount of grassy hops, slight alcohol, very aromatic

Taste is amazing and follows the aroma, roast and cocoa malts initially intersperse with grass hops and ride a creamy milk backbone, midway comes tones of strong oatmeal, caramel, and vanilla, finishes dry and bitter

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, creamy smooth texture, mild to moderate carbonation

Drinkability is amazingly high and in the session range, this is probably the most flavorful brown ale I have ever had, the oatmeal, cocoa, and hops are all so well-balanced that i wish i had better access to Surly beers, looking forward to more of their beers very soon

Serving type: can

02-08-2008 05:27:40 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of Ringo9er
Ringo9er

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If I didn't live in MN I would have to move here for this beer. I consider Bender as my go to beer for any drinking occasion. Wonderful appearance, smell, taste , mouthfeel, etc... I like brown ales in general - add the oatmeal smoothness and light hoppy presense and this is a great drinker. This is one of those beers that stretches the limits of its category, almost creating a new one. Now if I can only find a Coffee Bender tapping...

Serving type: can

02-23-2008 04:34:09 | More by Ringo9er
Photo of blackearth
blackearth

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured from a 16 oz. can has an extremely dark amber color, which you can only see by holding to the light. From a distance it looks black. Off-white head that falls to a thin layer of bubbles with good lacing. Aroma is of roasted caramel, chocolate and vanilla. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with a subtle amount of carbonation. Flavors of sweet malt and burnt chocolate with a subtle hop and coffee aftertaste. One of the best beers I have ever had.

Serving type: can

06-07-2009 00:58:48 | More by blackearth
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What an introduction to Surly, I loved this beer. Dark body, impressive creamy tan head. Smell is rich and roasty, chocolatey and slightly sweet. Flavor was fantastic. Malty and chocolatey to start, black cofee and strong hops finish this one out very bitter and enjoyable. Enjoyed on-tap at the Triple Rock in Minneapolis. A fantastic place for my first Surly. Great work, keep 'em coming.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2006 01:36:56 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of wrightro07
wrightro07

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: a nice dark brown appearance with a fluffy white head.
S: There is a hint of hops and a nutty malt backbone. This is very pleasant for a oatmeal brown ale.
T: The taste is amazingly done for a brown ale. I have had many traditional brown ales in England and I love the twist Surly put on this brew using oatmeal. The taste is nutty with lots of english style malts balanced with a slight hop back drop. The oatmeal is what really makes it silky smooth.
M: I love the silky smoothness of this beer. The oatmeal really came through.
D: I could drink this beer all day. Really smooth brown ale that has exceptional characteristics for a brown ale.

Serving type: can

02-12-2011 05:11:41 | More by wrightro07
Photo of jeremy2027
jeremy2027

Texas

4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured into imperial nonic glass

Opaque Brown decent head great lacing

Awesome toffee and roasted malt aroma

Exceptional Brown Ale here, the malt character and toffee notes are amazing.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Wonderful beer, Thanks to sweetwillyrolbar for the kick ass trade. The only thing bad I can say about this beer is that they don't distribute to Texas. I would without a doubt buy this beer all the time.

Serving type: can

07-13-2011 22:26:42 | More by jeremy2027
Photo of WxAxGxS
WxAxGxS

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally got my hands on a few 4-packs (16oz cans) in the cities, after tasting this oh-so-tastey brew last year while driving cross country.

Poors dark and almost red, but clear with a light brown head. Very sweet at first, opening up to a bready aroma with perhaps a hint of baking chocolate and brown sugar. Taste is smooth and creamy, almost a little light with a very slight metallic finish. Hints of chocolate and bread and a little hop citrus to it. Perfect amount of of carbonation for this brown ale.

I love Surly... Discovered it while drinking with a friend back in Minneapolis.... A shame I live in NY now.

Serving type: can

12-18-2007 04:53:23 | More by WxAxGxS
Photo of skillerified
skillerified

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one's a beauty. Dark pour, maybe a little dark for a Brown Ale, but the style seems highly interpretive anyway. Mostly dark mahogany colors, red around the edges. Fluffy light tan head on top that peaks at about two fingers, then fades to a nice cap that's seeming to stick around. Maybe a little light on the lace though.

The Belgian influence seems strongest to me. Notes of caramel, cinnamon, vanilla and other spices. Bready and yeasty with some hints at sweet fruit, slightly vinous. Makes me think of the kind of cooking people do around Christmas time. Also reminiscent of a Samuel Smith Imperial Stout. Maybe a touch of a citric orange rind. Slightly alcoholic, but with a fruit touch to that too, sort of like a fruit based cordial. Deep and complex.

Again, the Belgian influence is strong on the palate. Light caramelized coffee with touches of a creamy coffee based liquor. A touch smokey. Soft dark bread with a vinous character baked in. A definite alcohol note is present, but not so strong as to be unpleasant.

This brew has a strange warm and inviting texture to it. The moment it hits the lips and finds it's way inside, you feel like you're coming home on a cold winter night with a nice fire already blazing in the fireplace. Strange way to describe mouthfeel, but that's what it reminds me of. It's extremely smooth and well balanced. Seems to get a little sticky at the back of the throat as it goes, but that's not necessarily all bad.

I think I'm ready for another one already. Damn fine brew. Definitely lives up to the hype.

Serving type: can

04-24-2007 01:45:25 | More by skillerified
Photo of StompingClover
StompingClover

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

08-04-2013 00:20:14 | More by StompingClover
Photo of Packman4IL
Packman4IL

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

06-27-2012 02:41:13 | More by Packman4IL
Photo of ThatsThatDude
ThatsThatDude

New York

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

01-31-2014 22:13:29 | More by ThatsThatDude
Photo of americanjones
americanjones

New York

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

05-30-2013 22:05:54 | More by americanjones
Photo of PriorDoubleDark
PriorDoubleDark

Maine

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

03-14-2013 22:31:09 | More by PriorDoubleDark
Photo of zulufactor
zulufactor

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To preface I love this beer. Anyway...

A- Dark brown with a rich thick head

S- Toasty and malty with a bit of hops

T- Roasted malt and hops. a bit of chocolate and toasted oats. Balanced but by no means subdued

M- Silky with just the right amount of carbonation

as far as drinkablility is concerned, if I had a kegerator this is what i would fill it with.

Serving type: can

02-02-2011 08:15:58 | More by zulufactor
Photo of IorekKatze
IorekKatze


4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

07-10-2014 13:30:58 | More by IorekKatze
Photo of jryanj927
jryanj927

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

09-10-2013 01:47:52 | More by jryanj927
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany color with garnet highlights and a creamy tan head that persists reasonably well and leaves shards of lace

Smell: Toasted brown bread, cocoa and hints of sweet orange

Taste: Starts out with a brown bread with chocolate and mild coffee flavors; hints of oat peek through by mid-palate; after the swallow, the beer shows that it is not just another brown ale by bumping up the bitterness with a nice citrus flavor

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full bodied with a prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Off the charts, this is one great brown that pushes the style in a direction any hophead would appreciate

Thanks, tempest, for the opportunity

Serving type: can

07-30-2007 00:57:19 | More by brentk56
Photo of lovindahops
lovindahops

New York

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

OK, my third Surly.... sadly, last shipped from the four pack. Very excited about this one

A- pours a dark brown that is not quite opaque in the glass. A good head of foam recides but still lingers around. Traces of lacing on the side of the brew and the foam has some light reddish tints in on the perimeter

S- YUM! Mixed scents of caramel, molasses, brown sugar, slight dry pine hop scent, and slightly toasty bready oats scents. I like it the finish with the oats

T- ok... I am gonna say it.... OFF THE CHARTS! A perfect brown ale that blend the oatmeal brown sugar flavor is the perfect malt delivery with flavor. This may be the best brown ale on the market! Some vanilla on the finish with the expected dry theme. This is what I WANT IN A BROWN ALE! Unbelievable!

M- perfect carbonation with flavor waxing the mouth. It
s good

D- OK, not only is this the best american brown ale I have ever had... it's also absolutely delicious on the drinkability level for a craft beer. The makeup is absolutely perfect in the drinkability department. This will be a beer I continually highlight when the conversation comes up best beers ever. No exageration, I like Bender this much. I need more....

Serving type: can

04-03-2011 19:07:24 | More by lovindahops
Photo of dunix
dunix

Vermont

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

10-29-2012 14:29:58 | More by dunix
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

11-14-2011 22:21:17 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Bender from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,527 ratings.