Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Educational use only; do not reuse.

810 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 810
Hads: 2,413
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 18.8%
Wants: 657
Gots: 348 | FT: 25
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: feloniousmonk on 05-28-2006

Bender steeped cold for 24 hours in coarsely ground coffee beans from the Vinca Vista Hermosa plantation in Guatemala.
View: Beers (55) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 810 | Hads: 2,413
Reviews by Cheesemoose:
Photo of Cheesemoose
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received today from a very generous Stevef03! Thanks again!!!

Popped the cap and let this baby slide out into my brand new Surly pint. I left the remaining few ounces in the can to sample out of for the fun of it. For a brown ale, I am blown away from first glance. Beautiful rich full brown body, near black. I need to compare to the regular bender (which I will probably have tonight if not later this week) to see how much color was actually contributed from the beans. Head on this baby is amazing. Khaki colored and full, it slowly settles with each sip. Lacing is fantastic, remaining through the experience. A fluffy character to it, I am super impressed.

Smell is about the coffee. Though it is not as intense as other coffee beers, it is well done nonetheless. The brown ale comes out to play, though the coffee character has a very prominent role to play. Notes of chocolate, mocha and vanilla, with a nice bread/crust undertone. The total nose experience is more of a mild iced latte. Well done.

Just as I suspected. The nose led me to think that this would be a brown ale with coffee added, instead of the other way around. The brown ale base is present in the fore tongue with a splash of chocolate and roasted malt base, that leads rather quickly into the coffee infused body of the beer. The mid tongue picks up on the coffee notes, with an intense flush of fresh roasted beans. The finish brings back the brown ale, finishing again with notes of walnuts, chocolate, vanilla, and maple syrup. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side...oh wait. i'm reviewing a brown ale. Forgot that this wasn't a stout for a second. For a brown ale, expectional. Coffee stout brewers take note, this is how you do it. This is not only a great example of coffee in beer, but also how to make an already great beer greater. Still waiting on the Bender experience, but I can tell I'm in for a treat.

 1,911 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of infinitebruner
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

August 30, 2014

16 oz can, nonic pint

A – Medium to dark brown. Effervescent. Off-white head, low head retention. Basically looks like a carbonated version of my morning java brew.

S – Smells like a freshly opened bottle of cold-pressed coffee. Lots of roasty, burnt notes. Bitter.

T – Again, a lot of cold-pressed or iced coffee. Bitterness is strong but not overwhelming. Burnt flavors are actually minimal. Instead it’s very roasty, with touches of chicory.

M – Medium carbonation, slightly astringent. Mild bitter coffee in the finish and the aftertaste.

O – I want to like this a lot more than I do, but the cold pressed coffee is a little too upfront and pushes the beer out of balance. That characteristic could certainly be appealing for some drinkers. Would love to taste this base brown ale with no or more balanced coffee addition.

 872 characters

Photo of GallowsThief
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Out of a can into my tulip. Trade from my man Kevinpitts.

A – Root beer colored pour with about a half inch of light tan head that settled quickly.
S – Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, vanilla. Very nice aroma.
T – Strong coffee punch to start with a touch of bitterness to follow. Malts mix in with a bit of sweet and roastiness. Flavorful chocolate and vanilla finishes it off. Nice brown all around.
M – Medium carbonation but it feels lively. Bit creamy. Touch thin.
O – I waited awhile to try this one and I am thankful I got a chance. I love coffee and brown ales so this is right up my alley. I would love this flavor combo in a stout. One can hope. Thanks again to Kevin!

 696 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excited to see this one at Four Firkins when I was in Minnesota -- $4.39 for a can though? Was that priced right? Pretty damn expensive! I enjoyed the regular Bender though, and I like coffee, so my hopes are kinda high for this one. Canned 7/11/14 and poured 9/4/14.

Appearance: Semi-aggressive pour gave off a modest head that went down to about a ring and stayed. The color is mostly clear and ruby black. Looks pretty nice in the glass. (3.75/5)

Smell: Just upon cracking open the can, I got a huge waft of coffee that almost buckled my knees. Phew, this stuff smells great! Really doesn't share any characteristics of the regular Bender, at least on the surface, because the coffee note is really strong. This smells like coffee with some cream or sugar added, because it has a definite sweetness in there. Awesome nose on this beer though, but stay away if you don't like coffee and/or coffee beers, because the coffee in this is FAR from subtle. (4.5/5)

Taste/feel: So much coffee. This has a rich black coffee flavor, but the malt in Coffee Bender keeps it from tasting identical to cold black coffee -- coffee, coffee, coffee, a malt roastiness character, a slight bit of char, and then lingering coffee. There's not a lot of depth of flavor. In fact, regular Bender probably has more depth of flavor, but I just like this beer more. The feel is about full bodied with a modest carbonation to let you know you're drinking beer, and not coffee. (4.5/5, 4.25/5)

This brew just smells like freshly brewed coffee, and tastes almost the exact same way. Probably the most coffee-forward beer I've had, and one of the best beers I've had as well. This is an absolutely phenomenal beer that needs to be purchased if you see it, even at the price I got it for. Lucious, fabulous amounts of coffee... damn, I just wish I could get this in Michigan. Wow, wow, and wow.

 1,870 characters

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Surly Coffee Bender

Poured from 16oz can into a mug. I served this well chilled. A nice dark brown brew, with a thin khaki head. Decent retention and some lacing. The aroma is coffee. I would like to expand on that a bit, but it's mostly coffee. Quite pleasant really... The flavor provides quite a bit of fresh ground coffee bitterness as well. This is medium bodied and easy drinking. Has a nice finish and aftertaste. If you're looking for a brown ale infused with coffee goodness, look no further.

 502 characters

Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown with a thinner slight off white head atop.Full on coffee in the nose,not beerish at all really,if your into coffee this is it.The beer is good...very good but the coffee is dominant and it maybe leaves the fact that it's a beer behind,besides the coffee on the palate I get some chocolate and mild caramel.I have had alot of coffee infused beers this cuts the cake as far as coffee goes,is it caffeinated?That's the question.

 450 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Rgranfelt
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of weatherdog
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

16oz can poured into a nonic pint glass.

It pours a semi transparent brown cola color with minimal tan head. The smell is just smooth black coffee, not r=a lot of roastiness and no detectable bitterness, like an ice coffee made from a french press. Really pleasing and inviting. The taste is just the same. I think I've had french press ice coffee that tastes just like this. There is very little beer character in here which I think is what the brewer has intended. I haven't had the base beer but now I'm wishing I picked up some so I could compare. The absence of bitterness and high roastiness is what makes this beer unique and one of my favorite coffee flavored beers. I could put this in the office coffee pot and I doubt no one would be the wiser; although the day would be more interesting. Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery but that is my only complaint. I'm sad I only picked up a 4-pack of this from my MN trip.

 928 characters

Photo of TimothyRBrady
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of blackearth
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased from Blue Max Liquors in Burnsville, MN. Pours a black body with ruby red corners and a big, pillowy tan head. Aroma is mostly coffee beans and also some chocolate and floral hops. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Flavor is tinny, grainy, dark roasted malts, with a good coffee flavor and bitterness from the coffee, which also intermingles with the hop bitterness. The relatively low alcohol content is a nice touch since this is so tastey that I had to grab a second one!

 509 characters

Photo of newk340
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a fantastic beer from a can, love the mantra "beer for a mug, from a can." certainly could have had this for breakfast in place of my typical cup of joe.

A: a very dark coffee stout, one finger head when poured from the can.


T: COFFEE!! absolutely no taste of alcohol, shocked by its resemblance to my favorite morning beverage.

M/D: could easily replace a cup of coffee in the morning, nearly no carbonation, smooth feel down the throat.

 454 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Arrives in a snifter glass with a nice dark brown color and a big creamy light tan head on top. As the head falls the aromas come out of the brew with a wonderful fresh pressed coffee that mingles with a malty, slightly roasty nuttiness as well. The cold pressed coffee comes out the most with a touch of hops in the background.

First sip brings the same big, fresh pressed coffee flavors upfront that meld in wonderfully with the nutty, rich malty flavors in the brew. Flows down with some good bitterness with hints of chocolate and a touch of hops as well. Really robust flavor that keeps me coming back sip after sip. Coffee beer loves rejoice!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp and smooth. This is really an easy drinking coffee brew and very damn enjoyable if you ask me. I would have like to have ordered another but I had to run. One of my favorite Surly offerings from fests and I'm glad to see it on tap in my area.

 927 characters

Photo of briang01
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of supa0525
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Punchy_Munchie
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of csmartin6
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of jamato3000
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of barhoc11
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Good coffee stout with a big coffee taste, if you want one of the better coffee stouts, grab some of these.

107 characters

Photo of 77apm
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of JakerLou
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of megamass
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 810 ratings.