1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,610 Ratings

(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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bender Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,610 | Reviews: 729 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nichols33
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Nichols33, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of LostHighway
4/5  rDev -2%

LostHighway, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of Brams17
4/5  rDev -2%

Brams17, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of deapokid
3/5  rDev -26.5%

deapokid, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of chadwicktorres
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

chadwicktorres, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of muskiesman
4/5  rDev -2%

muskiesman, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of cwehr13
4/5  rDev -2%

cwehr13, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of pkkosmatka
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%

pkkosmatka, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of heystevec
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

heystevec, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of Dave_Treat
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Dave_Treat, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of makeitavintage
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

makeitavintage, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of Oakenshield53
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Man, I WANT to like this stuff, but it's finally time to admit that I just don't.

I mean, it's well made. I can see the draw, but there's a reason they make different beers after all and for me, this is chaos in a can and not in a really good way. It's like that guy in a office meeting who's always agreeing with every alternative that gets brought up.

Complex, certainly, and I like complexity generally. But I like a more structured, curated complexity than Bender offers, which is all over the map.

Too many flavors moshing that don't individually have enough heft to create a good character which registers.

Lots of better alternatives in this category, in my opinion.

Oakenshield53, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of geekrot
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

geekrot, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of tgates
4/5  rDev -2%

tgates, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of Alextricity
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 7/25 and poured 8/28. Got this at Four Firkins for $3.29 a single.

Appearance: A clear, ruby brown/black color with a finger of sand colored head. Solid lacing as well. (4.25/5)

Smell: Doesn't smell particularly special, but it's pretty nice. It mostly smells like a well done version of the style with the usual roasted and caramel malts. There's a hint of coffee that would no doubt be more significant in the coffee version of this beer. (3.75/5)

Taste/feel: Well, that's easily the best damn brown ale I've ever tasted. Yeah, you get the "usual" roast and caramel flavors, but there's something about this beer. There's a vanilla flavor coming in from somewhere that just works unbelievably well with the feel, which is full bodied. The carbonation is low/medium, and is basically perfect for Bender. After taste is mostly caramel malt, but there's a little roast in there as well. It sort of comes together as a caramel popcorn flavor, but I could just be imagining that (probably...). (4/5, 4.5/5)

My first brew from Surly, and I'm left impressed. Brown ales in my past experience were just... brown ales. This beer adds something exciting with the vanilla flavor it has, and the feel is fantastic. If you're a bit down on brown ales, try this one out, because it's certain to show you just what the style is capable of. The price of $3.29 for a single can is a bit high, but it's 16oz, and of great quality -- so keep that in mind.

Alextricity, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of Franziskaner
4/5  rDev -2%

Dark brown to light black in color and essentially impenetrable to light. Brussels lacing. There's a miniscule layer of khaki colored head but it only covers about a third of the top of the beer. Luscious aroma of chocolate and dark malt greets my nose. The flavor is full of dark malt and caramel. The mouth is light and fairly quaffable considering the amount of flavor packed into this beer.

Franziskaner, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of KyleSweetsema
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%

KyleSweetsema, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of PJHOY
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

PJHOY, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of sleepysheep
5/5  rDev +22.5%

sleepysheep, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of HoppyBastard2
4/5  rDev -2%

HoppyBastard2, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of shehateme
4/5  rDev -2%

shehateme, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of Dshiznit321
4/5  rDev -2%

Dshiznit321, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4/5  rDev -2%

mnredsoxfan69, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of Tyecko
4/5  rDev -2%

Tyecko, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Billolick, Aug 20, 2014
Bender from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,610 ratings.