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Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BenderBender

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

1,610 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,610
Reviews: 729
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 432
Gots: 171 | 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: 1,610 | Reviews: 729 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MyTBeerDrinker
1/5  rDev -75.5%

MyTBeerDrinker, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of Argofax
1/5  rDev -75.5%

Argofax, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of chippo33
1.75/5  rDev -57.1%

chippo33, May 13, 2014
Photo of Phil_H
2.25/5  rDev -44.9%

Phil_H, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of chaz01
2.45/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this on draft at Jake Melnick's in Chicago.

A: Dark Brown with a black creamy head, nice lacing on the glass.

S: Some earthy tones in the aroma but not much.

T: Initially, earthy and orange notes. Also A little chocolate flavor reminded me of stale brownies.

M: Medium bodied and carbonation, hoppy bitter finish at the end.

D: I had this beer after drinking a glass of the Surly Furious. I couldn't really tell if the hoppiness I was tasting was leftover finish of the Furious, or if it was part of this beer as well, but that taste didn't work well with me in this beer. Hopefully, I can review it again if I come accross it.

chaz01, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of IdrinkGas
2.5/5  rDev -38.7%

IdrinkGas, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of BarrytheBear
2.5/5  rDev -38.7%

BarrytheBear, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of rfbenavi80
2.5/5  rDev -38.7%

rfbenavi80, May 13, 2012
Photo of zebulon
2.53/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had it on tap at restaurant in Mpls.

A Very brown to brown-black. Opaque can't see through. Tan head 1/2-1/4 inch which gradual disappeared.

S Weak malty sweet aroma

T Malt in background, mild sweetness overwehlmed by bitterness. Bitter pine hops and bitter coffee tones. Not the interesting bitterness of a complex IPA. As it sat the bitterness mellowed but not much flavor in background came out. I am surprised at the high ratings and the descriptions of complexity. I wonder if I had a bad batch?

M Light on tongue in spite of bitterness.

D Not a sessions beer. You really have to be in the mood for this. I had it before dinner
which is were it might work.

zebulon, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of BigAl18
2.6/5  rDev -36.3%

BigAl18, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of ejimhof
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

ejimhof, May 18, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were moderately high given the reputation of the brewery. This was my first Surly beer, though I uploaded this review after my other Surly ones.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream, good thickness, and poor retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Coffee, heavy nuts, vanilla, and light cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Light coffee on the open, pleasant vanilla and light cream in the body. Nutty hops and light caramel. The finish is a touch metallic, which I find unpleasant, but it might be a draught error. Overall, it's decently complex and balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, and just thick enough. Kind of suits the flavour, but it isn't tailored to it.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the style, but for my first Surly beer, it's a bit of a disappointment. Coffee is a strange choice for a would-be brown ale.

kojevergas, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of Jmoore50
2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Got this fatty growler in the mail through a trade. The best part of this beer is the quote from the brewery. "Good beer is an acquired taste, you just acquired some." ha ha awesome.

This is my first Surly brew, not impressed at all.

The appearance was average for a brown ale, poured pretty thick, the growler held the carbonation and the head came to a two finger beige head.

The smell with the pour was like brown sugar. It actually was a text book brown ale smell. It smelled too sweet for me though, and for the record, I really don't care for brown ales.

The taste was okay at first, but I got some fruity taste off of it. Just something that I don't really care for. I am sure if you're a brown ale connoisseur then you probably would love this, but I am nothing like a brown ale connoisseur.

Overall I had to have a friend drink sixty percent of the growler for me, so I would never buy this ever again, but since it was a gift....Thanks.

J

Jmoore50, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of TMoney2591
2.91/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lexington Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

Thanks to VDubb, I finally got around to trying the coffee-less version of Bender. It pours a clear sunset topaz topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises mild graham cracker, grass, flowers, and a touch of Oreo. The taste focuses on the grass, flowers, and mild lemon peel, all to the detriment of the grain-y, biscuit-y base. Basically, they took the "American" label stereotype and ran with it, over-hopping what may have been a nice enough brown ale. A shame, really. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick-ish feel. Overall, this brown just didn't sit right with me. It's too hoppy for its own good, and those grains mentioned in the blurb above don't come through at all. I wanted to like this stuff, especially given my love of Coffee Bender, but I guess I'll just stick with the coffee-infused version for the duration.

TMoney2591, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of xpdrinker
2.98/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

16oz can poured into a Surly pint glass, both courtesy of @ShawnBGP. No noticeable canning/expiration date.

1-finger light-tan head rests atop a clear reddish-brown body. Minimal lace, head dissipates quickly. Nutty, toffee, caramel aromas and flavors. Oats and reams of office paper also come across the nose. Reminds me a lot of Cigar City Maduro, but lighter in body and alcohol comes through more easily. Prickly carbonation. Hops are a little more pronounced as it warms and the beer leaves a dry, slightly metallic finish with a faint hint of pepper and raisin.

Overall I do enjoy this beer (second time having it) but I'm more eager to try Coffee Bender. Maduro is one of my go-to beers here in FL and like I said, this reminds me of it, but I don't know if I'd drink it as often were I living in MN.

xpdrinker, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of Sinatra716
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Sinatra716, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of GrizXTKEX519
3/5  rDev -26.5%

GrizXTKEX519, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of tbone64
3/5  rDev -26.5%

tbone64, May 25, 2014
Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -26.5%

smartassboiler, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of BastionShaw
3/5  rDev -26.5%

BastionShaw, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of mportnoy
3/5  rDev -26.5%

mportnoy, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -26.5%

chrispoint, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of IrishColonial
3/5  rDev -26.5%

IrishColonial, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of cardinals22
3/5  rDev -26.5%

cardinals22, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of Grocerystowe
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Grocerystowe, Nov 08, 2012
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Bender from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,610 ratings.