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Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,732 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,732
Reviews: 736
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 439
Gots: 206 | 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.
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Ratings: 1,732 | Reviews: 736
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look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can thanks to Bennetj17!

A muddy brown body embraced by more gentle, chestnut highlighted edges. A thin, sienna coloured line ropes around the beer.

For me, the smell of this beer, in part to whatever ingredient, summoned thoughts of autumn. It is a warm home. It is wet leaves, damp air, cooler evenings and rediscovered fireplaces. I'm not exactly sure where I get this idea from... but I do know for what reason: the beer offers such an over-abundance of smells that its aroma lets the imagination run wild.

To my nose, this offers teeming, plentiful notes of pumpkin pie, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate cream, vanilla and a ton of hops! I mean literally - a ton.

The mouthfeel is smooth and crowded with flavours and textures. A bursting amount of hops demand attention as they instantly leap onto the palate and grasp the taste buds, vinous notes throttle the throat. Sweetness and bitterness are in perfect harmony. The tastes seem to pinnacle with a coffee bean bitterness and lingering notes of roast, smoke, and dark chocolate.

The beer just keeps getting better: Chocolate covered hops, with lots of chocolate and even more hops. Deliciously toasted malts. Hazelnut. An epic struggle that fits caramel vs. vanilla, coffee vs. cocoa, and an over toning presence of oak. This is all the most wonderful flavours beer has known somehow rolled into one...

The beer is exactly what the brewers boast: 'substance meets smooth...with many layers of satisfaction'. In very few beers can you find such a superabundance of flavours so well blended and with such refined character. I was simply amazed with how the many scents, textures and tastes of this beer could not only co-exist, but come together as they do. Like no other, Surely Bender balances sweetness and bitterness and leaves no element overlooked or shortchanged.

A most sessionable beverage that manages to pack in more flavours and textures than reasonably imaginable for a beer its strength. I can't find any ways to improve this beer; it is simply wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

This does blur style guidelines and is a reflection of talent and craftsmanship. Befitting to its name, I could easily drink this endlessly, day and night.

Photo of dave43
4.92/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To be honest I'm a sucker for all of surly beers (mostly) but Bender has to be my favorite. It pours with a great head and lace. Carbonation is minimal but well balanced. Nice deep garnet darkish color. It smells of toast, chocolate, malt, coffee all at the same time. Man it is complex. Tastes what it smells like with a hint of vanilla. The head brewer, Todd Haughty is genius for putting this together. My first Surly beer I had in their first year of business and it remains my go to. The only thing better is a moes bender or coffee bender.

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4.9/5  rDev +20.4%

Photo of ryantupy
4.9/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice rich brown hue with a rocky tan head on it that lasts almost through out the whole pint. Smells of roasted malts with some subtle sweetness to it. It tastes of roasted malts, a subtle sweetness, caramel, chocolate and a small hop character in the finish. A medium bodied beer for the most part that has a nice slightly carbonated mouthfeel. Overall a beer with some great malt character with small subtle hints of other great flavors. This beer has a nice complexity to it with suprising character that is very pleasant.

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Bender from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,732 ratings.