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Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,033 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,033
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 611
Gots: 235 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Bender steeped cold for 24 hours in coarsely ground coffee beans from the Vinca Vista Hermosa plantation in Guatemala.

(Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 05-28-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,033 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MyTBeerDrinker
1/5  rDev -76%

MyTBeerDrinker, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of Argofax
1/5  rDev -76%

Argofax, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of martillotime
1/5  rDev -76%

martillotime, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of Chewbakken
1/5  rDev -76%

Chewbakken, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of KingoftheTitans
1.12/5  rDev -73.1%

KingoftheTitans, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of marlow
1.5/5  rDev -63.9%

marlow, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of Phil_H
1.75/5  rDev -57.9%

Phil_H, May 05, 2014
Photo of ChadQuest
1.83/5  rDev -56%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark brown/black with minimal lacing.
smokey and roasty on the nose, also on the palatte,with tons of coffee. literally tastes like the time i cold french pressed sumatra beans with storm king out of curiousity, but a little less offensively stale coffee flavor then that was, but non the less this coffee does have that stale personality to it. some nutty characteristics is the only other note that sneaks past the aweful stale coffee onslaught.

I had to drink this one very cold,around 35-40f. I had one at 55f or so,how i drink all my beers, and the coffee flavor was so offensive i couldn't even finish. Chilling it down to 35-40 hid alot of the off flavors and made it somewhat more enjoyable.

Before you say i must not be a coffee drinker, you are wrong. i have been in the coffee industry and geek'd out on coffee for years.
While the Casual coffee drinker may like this, i would be surprised if a real coffee geek tried this and found it enjoyable.
Cardboard box lovers may love this.

ChadQuest, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of Eriktheipaman
1.93/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured a pretty much solid black with one finger tan head.

The smell was pretty much only coffee. And when I say coffee I don't mean coffee notes or beans I mean straight coffee.

The taste was also JUST of coffee. It tasted like day old coffee served cold with a little carbonation and a light mouthfeel.

I tend to love beers with coffee added but this one was just gross. I guess I could have gotten an off can but I tend to think this beer is just not for me so take this review as you will.

Eriktheipaman, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of RachelB
1.96/5  rDev -52.9%

RachelB, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of IllHaveAnother1
2/5  rDev -51.9%

IllHaveAnother1, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -51.9%

BGsWo22, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Rempo
2/5  rDev -51.9%

Rempo, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of mmulebarn
2/5  rDev -51.9%

mmulebarn, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of Crowesaddict
2/5  rDev -51.9%

Crowesaddict, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of tom10101
2.25/5  rDev -45.9%

tom10101, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of Keith238
2.48/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16 oz can received in a trade as an extra. Looked interesting but I immediately thought of "Buzz Beer" from the old Drew Carey Show.

Poured very dark brown, not quite black. Head disappeared quickly with no lacing in the glass. The mouthfeel and appearance were about the only aspects that I found remotely appealing about this beer. The taste was acidic. The combination of coffee and beer smells very unappealing like a sink with dirty glasses of coffee mugs and beer glasses.

Judging by other reviews, people obviously like it so don't let me disuade you from giving it a try. This was my first and likely my last because I don't see my taste changing that much any time soon. In the mean time, I'll do my coffee and beer drinking at separate times.

Thanks just the same to Joe for including it as an extra, I'm always looking to try a new beer.

Keith238, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of mportnoy
2.5/5  rDev -39.9%

mportnoy, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of sarch
2.5/5  rDev -39.9%

sarch, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of bdelonj13
2.5/5  rDev -39.9%

bdelonj13, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
2.65/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served on-draught at a bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed from notes. Serving vessel was a Surly Mug. Cost was $5.00 USD.

A: No real head at all. Solid black colour. Mildly appealing.

Sm: Coffee, mocha, and alcohol. A mild strength aroma.

T: Coffee, light chocolate and vanilla, and buried caramel. Not horribly complex, but balanced and decently built.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too thick. Doesn't really suit the flavours; it should be coarse and dry.

Dr: Not really drinkable. More of a tame sipper, which is inexcusable at this low an ABV. I wouldn't have it again, but it's okay for the style. Coffee beer fanatics might be the only ones that will truly like this. Give me a Black Damnation II Mocha Bomb any day of the week, but leave this one be.

kojevergas, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of zoolzoo
2.65/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Surly Coffee Bender tastes strikingly similar to unsweetened iced coffee. Mission accomplished?

Firstly, I have to give Surly credit for infusing this beer with so much coffee flavor and aroma, pretty impressive. Unfortunately overall, I don't think the base beer can stand up to the beans. I cant really find many characteristics that are indicative to the brown ale buried under all of this coffee.

The aroma is pretty good actually. Ground coffee beans, slight bit of malt. I love the smell of coffee.

Taste is somewhat acidic, derivative of low quality, unsweetened coffee. Theres not enough malt to balance out the raw nuttiness - it needs to be a little sweeter and more well rounded. Goes down a little rough!

zoolzoo, May 26, 2010
Photo of harrymel
2.7/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Canned 25SEP11 A: dark brown with a transient finger or so of off tan foam which falls quickly to a scattered surface. excellent clarity and spotty lace. (2.5) S: Smells like breakfast coffee. Plain and black with the slightest hint of burnt nuts. Maybe a little bit of a cinnamon tone. (3) T: coffee is present, but seems stale. The beer itself seems a bit stale with a bit of soil and bitterness. Again, a hint of nuts. (2.5) M: Thin with moderate carb and a semi dry finish. Sadly, this so far has been the best part. (3.5) O: Not impressed with this offering. Like the regular version much better. (2.5)

harrymel, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
2.71/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had a can of this alongside the base beer.

Good appearance, much like the regular Bender, deep dark brown, but still clear when held to the light; a medium-sized off-white head held for a few minutes and sank to a ringlet, leaving a few dabs of lacing on the glass. Nose full of coffee, with lesser notes of caramel malts. Taste was pure, straight-up bitter black coffee and nothing else. Just blew me away and made me cringe. There's a good way of using coffee in a beer, but for me, this isn't it. I pretty much hate coffee, unless it's in beer, then I actually like it a lot. But when I do have a coffee beer, I want a coffee beer, not a cold can of pure coffee. This was bitter, acrid, one-dimensional, and lacking any sense of balance. I literally could not drink this. But if you love cold, bitter coffee, get as much of this as you can.

Rifugium, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
2.73/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in trade from GPHarris, thanks for the opportunity! Pours a deep brown with garnet highlights when held to light. Tightly bubbled beige head shows moderate retention and lace. Smells like freshly ground coffee beans mostly. I try to find something else in the aroma but the coffee is overpowering my olfactory system. Taste really follows the aroma. Upfront I get bitter roasted coffee, midway through I get a hint of sugary sweetness (cream maybe?) finish is a long lingering acridic roasted coffee. Did I mention this tastes like coffee. Medium body and carbonation level, acridic bitter mouthfeel. I will preface this by saying I don't drink coffee. I enjoy some beer with coffee flavors or with coffee added, but this one is to far over the top for me. I can't find the beer underneath the coffee. One and done on this one.

johnnnniee, Aug 19, 2011
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Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 2,033 ratings.