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Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,673 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,673
Reviews: 732
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 437
Gots: 183 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,673 | Reviews: 732 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElfKicker
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

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3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of The_Beer_Shark
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Jammies
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- deep brown with orange notes trying to leak through. Quarter inch of foam with great retention and terrific lacing

S- sweet and nutty. Very appealing fragrance

T- well balanced, sweet, and a slightly nutty flavor

M- light with a slightly hot finish

O- love the smell, but just didn't live up to its appearance and smell. good flavor, but not great

Photo of masterofsparks
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of cofeeguru
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of ajevne
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of emmasdad
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for dropping this one off Dan. Pours a deep, rich mahogany color, with a creamy beige head. Aromas of wood, dark brown sugar, nuts and molasses. On the palate, full bodied, creamy mouthfeel, well carbonated, with flavors of chocolate, nuts and roasted malt.

Photo of Zbeetleman
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

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3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

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3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

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3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

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3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

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3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

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3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Ncpogs
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Qbdoo
3.26/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Looks good like a brown ale should, but after that is pretty unremarkable. The taste is fine but the texture of the beer is somewhat thin for a brown ale. I expect a bit more chewiness. The scent, like the taste, is fine - a bit of coffee and a slight toastiness - but not overpowering. Seems like an easy-drinking, summer version of the style. A decent beer but not something I'll look for again.

Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to tprokop for throwing this in as an extra in a trade. Poured from a 16 oz can into my Sam Adams glass.

Appearance: Pours an opaque, coca-cola brown, with a finger-and-a-half of off-white head. The head subsided pretty quickly, but left good lacing.

Smell: Toffee and caramel filled the room as soon as the can was opened - this beer packs a punch. Bready malts are also present.

Taste: More toffee and caramel, just like in the scent. The finish is smooth and bready, and sweet, and it lingers for quite some time. Minimal hops. The faintest hints of roasted malts can be detected in the background. There is something unpleasant about something in the taste, which I just can't put my finger on. It's almost like something of an astringent sweetness. Faint hints of vanilla are also there - this beer is definitely complex, but it seems like it tries to do too much.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, but pretty highly carbonated - almost to the point of soda.

Drinkability: I've never been a huge fan of brown ales, so my opinion might be somewhat biased. Despite being relatively low in alcohol, something about this beer made it more of a sipper. I can't say I'd want to have more than one, nor can I say I'd seek it out again. Still, glad I tried it.

Photo of jojox
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - Dark amber. 1 finger head, solid.

s - Rich maltiness. Almost some belgian characteristics? I had Furious before this and Bender is so different, so... blah.

t - It's a balanced, but malty ale. A bit of roasted going on here. A bit too bitter to be smooth. It's kinda boring next to Furious.

m - Not smooth. A bit bitter

d - Okay, but really I'm done after one.

Photo of jegross2
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Bender from Surly Brewing Company. Thank you BeerAdvocate user FunHog for hooking me up with this one!
Score: 82

04/19/11 canned beer poured into a Goose Island Irish-style imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut/caramel brown color with a finger of super creamy khaki-tan colored head that sticks around a while. Opaque with yellow-brown highlights at the top and ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. Excellent lacing. 4/5

Smell: Caramel and vanilla cream soda. Notes of coffee/espresso, earthy hops and a light nuttiness. Chocolate malts too. 4/5

Taste: Caramel and nuts. Some chocolate malt ball flavor, bready malts and butterscotch on the mid-palate. Light vanilla and hint of coffee. Hints of hoppiness at points. Crisp caramel and hazelnut finish. Gets sweeter as it layers and warms. Pleasant flavors, but no linger. I get hints of stainless steel sweetness at points. Maybe this one is better fresh. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium-high carbonation. Finishes bittersweet. 3/5

Overall: A solid brown ale that is worth hunting down. This one is probably better fresh. Surly has much better offerings than Bender, however. It is probably worth noting that I am not a big fan of brown ales.

Recommendation: I can safely recommend this one to casual beer drinkers and beer geeks alike, but if you are trying Surly beer for the first time, nab a Furious instead.

Pairings: I was drinking this one with an Oatmeal Raisin cookie, but a chocolate chip cookie with nuts in it could work well too.

Cost: $12 for a four pack of 16 oz cans.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into my personalized Philadelphia Eagles pint glass. Pairing with a nice plate of sharp provolone and crackers. Pours a dark brown with a massive frothy head with excelent retention. Tons of lacing...and very sticky/long lasting at that!

Aroma is pretty average, like your typical brown ale...yeast and malts.

Flavor and mouthfeel: crisp, clean, roasted, high carbonation. It's tough to really pick anything else out of this that really stands out...just your average brown ale, just quality! Small amount of hops lingers in the back, and a decent drinker.

Photo of claspada
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of dark sweet caramel and oatmeal maltiness with s substantial earthy hop character.
The tastes begin with light bitter cocoa and coffee. Some sweet caramel maltiness mixed in with an earthy almost metallic bitterness. Am I making this up because it came in a can, not totally sure to be honest, probably is my guess. A little too bitter for my liking.
Good carbonation, semi dry finish and slightly light to medium bodied. Overall this is an average brown ale; I've had much better and I've had much worse. Too hoppy and over-hyped in my opinion. Cigar City Maduro Brown is heads and tails better in every aspect and considering I can get that locally I will not be revisiting this beer.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a deep clear dark brown color with ruby highlights when held to light. A Huge fluffy beige head sits on top for a good long time before impaling itself to the sides of my glass. Smells of caramel and chocolate mostly with some vanilla, a hint of nut and a bit of earthy hop presence. Taste is caramel and toffee mostly. Hints of butter, alcohol, and a slightly earthy citrus hop flavor seems a bit out of place. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet watery mouthfeel. I didn't enjoy this one as much as I had hoped I would. The malt bill has a distinct English esb meets dark mild feel to it while it also seems heavy on the American hops for a brown. I thought the flavors clashed a little bit. For a brew with oats in the bill I would have expected a much creamier feel than this beer has.

Photo of dlello2
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Mahogany / dark cherry. Finger and a half of head goes away quickly. Looks like it might be lacking some carbonation.

S - Not fantastic, maybe a bit old. Some maltiness/breadiness.

T - Easy drinking. Distinct flavors as it goes down. Hits nicely, middle of the tongue is nice and hoppy, fades to bitterness. Not the best end ever.

M - Lacking carbonation to balance the taste. Leaves an taste/feeling that is not the most pleasant.

O - This beer was ok. None of the flavors were great, none too unpleasant. Wouldn't buy again... thought it was non-descript.

Bender from Surly Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,673 ratings.