1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BenderBender

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,711 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,711
Reviews: 735
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 438
Gots: 201 | FT: 10
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:
Beer added by: tavernjef on 02-04-2006

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.
View: Beers (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bender Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,711 | Reviews: 735 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BltByKrmn
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BigRedDog
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mush
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of capuchinpilates
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cheesy26
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of grimey68
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jeff1973
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of OrestesMethuon
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Mild, mellow—and surprisingly light, yet still slightly chewy—Surly's Bender is brown on all the right levels; and, for an ale this dark—it pours a muddy-gold stream, but sits pitch-brown in the glass—it's extremely "easy-drinking" indeed. It boasts a clean, creamy nose, with layers of toffee, old coffee, and verdant, unripened hop notes, which—along with its minimal head out of the sixteen-ounce can (and into a Fairhope Brewing 1st Anniversary tulip-pint)—strongly suggests that this won't be a standard soggy-biscuit brown. Once sipped, those suggestions are confirmed: while certainly "lightly" hopped, there is a pleasant dull, scuffed-down bitterness that matches some of the cocoa-nib and espresso-dust valences that course through the bodied sweetness. These sugars, however, are dark—almost reminiscent of black-strap rum—but likewise very restrained; the cleanliness of Bender's taste, as well as its mouthfeel, always appear paramount. And, moreover—despite the low booze-level—it seems to me that good, really-brown Caribbean rums form a sound analogy for one of the primary aspects of Bender's flavor-profile: very refined sweetness; rich, mellow, smooth burnt-bite; and bitterness that draws from both those qualities for a warmth that fills the body, without any heaviness filling the stomach.

I still think Bell's Best Brown is my favorite "session brown", but Bender is right up there—being a little less complex, and weaker in its bite, while at the same time having a plusher texture and nice, porridge-like grist, thanks to the oats in the malt-bill. It's rare, regardless, to try a brown that coheres to stylistic constraints and simultaneously refreshes the palate, but Surly hits that svelte mark.

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sjccmd
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. Light tan head. Decent lacing.

Roasted malts dark fruits and some citusy piney hops. Fruitier than I expected. Would have liked the roasty character to take over more.

Taste follows aroma. For a brown ale, I prefer chocolate and roast to dark fruit. While this has both, dark fruit makes a bit more presence than I'd prefer. Firm bitterness.

Pretty full bodied, low carbonation. Not solidly dry, but not cloying.

Nice brown, but lacking real depth of malt character. Just a tad.

Photo of DMZern
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pmangold
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 1eyed_jack
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Ish1
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Razonulzer
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nograz
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Diaper-Daniels
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of thinwhiteduke
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Reinbeck11
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look Light brown or even clear brown color. Good foamy head
Smell Very light scent(too light). Would like a stronger bold scent.
Taste Clean crisp taste. Taste you want in an oatmeal malty beer shines through.
Feel Smooth drinking brown light on your tongue, easy finish
O-all Very good brown, lightness of smell and crisp/clean flavor profile makes it a good food friendly beer. Easy drinking brown ale for a day long good time.

Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tourdot
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CraigTravor
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jordanpaterson08
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beer4Mike
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bender from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,711 ratings.