Bender | Surly Brewing Company

BenderBender
BA SCORE
4.07/5
1,969 Ratings
BenderBender
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
surlybrewing.com

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

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.

Added by tavernjef on 02-04-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,388
Reviews:
762
Ratings:
1,969
pDev:
9.83%
Bros Score:
4.12
 
 
Wants:
462
Gots:
315
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,969 |  Reviews: 762
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh and tasty pint can, thanks to Tempest. Large brown head on dark brown, much like a coffee. Moderate pleasant mocha chocolate coffee aroma, and the taste does deliver. Modest roast, malty without sweet. Secondary a bit dry and bitter. Very drinkable. A few minutes later, it is all gone.

 292 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of jaydoc
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to UMNbeerhunter for sending me this one!

Pours a clear dark brown color with a 2 inch beige head that fades to a thin film. Nice rings and patches of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted oats, brown bread, and citrus zest notes. Taste is of oats, bread, nuts, and a citrus zest taste on the finish. Mild bitterness on the palate fades after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation that makes for a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good brown ale and I am glad I got to try this one.

 550 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a really nice brown ale, moving in that more hoppy direction, a real marker for the style in my opinion. the pour is chocolate syrup in color but not nearly as thick. only a little light comes through, and there is a foamy head the color of oatmeal that rises up maybe three inches and leaves good lacing as it drinks. the nose is bitter cocoa and bitter hops, maybe with a touch of pine to them. there is also a slight smoky aroma from the roasted barley malt that gives this more of a fall than spring beer aura to me. the flavor is big, lots happening for a brown. piney pitchy sappy hops first, which fade into a bitterness that is more malt driven. the cocoa element carries over from the nose but sweetens up just enough to counteract the bitter, and the finish is long and luxurious, exacerbated by the wonderfully full body, creamy texture, and soft carbonation of this beer. to be able to have this and sixpoints diesel in such close succession was a real treat. even though they call that one a stout, these are probably the best two American brown ales going at the moment. this is sensationally good.

 1,112 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Knapp85
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out as a deep reddish brown color with a very nice cream colored head on top. The retention and lacing are top notch on this very good looking beer. The smell of the beer has a very nice roasted aroma with a touch of sweetness on the nose too. The taste is sweet upfront, a little creamy, there is a roasted nut flavor, hints of chocolate and coffee too. The aftertaste is moderately bitter. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth, lightly carbonated and highly drinkable. Overall this beer is really good. Very nice brew.

 536 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of metter98
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark red in color (brown when viewed from afar) and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high tan head that died down ever so slowly and left a thin but dense head covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of cocoa and caramel malts in the nose.
T: The taste has some similarities with the smell but is much more complex and has additional notes of chocolate and coffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and a little creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has great complexity and interesting flavors. The oats lend lots of smoothness to the mouthfeel.

 650 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first taste of a Surly Brewing Company brew. Turns out, it was worth the patience and the hype. The sound of the beer hitting the bottom of the glass promises malty richness. The appearance is a meduim viscous, dark brown with ruby highlights. A 1" head never fell. Aromas of solid barley malts, semi-sweet cocoa, and bold coffee notes blended well with complementary caramel, toffee, and a touch of fermented roasted malts. The flavors closely resemble the terrificly balanced aromas but show impressive intensity, strenth, roundness, and without compromising the balance. The cocoa flavors portray mild bitterness and solid richness. The coffee is very Columbian, and the hop bitterness balances the bitterness found in the cocoa and coffee. A mild lacto-sweetness rounds out the coffee acidity well. As the beer falls into the finish a firm nutty (pecan) flavor intensifies and carrys the beer into the finish. Very clean and bitter-balanced in the finish, allowing a soft, coffee / chocolate lingering. Not sure if this is the best Brown that I have ever has, but I am certain that I have had none better. Thanks Nathan15.

 1,129 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A shaker pint at the Minni-St. Paul airport during layover hell on the way to, erm, Detroit...

This beer appears a clear, dark brown hue, with one finger of foamy tan head, which renders a barely broken wall of sudsy pale beige lace as it slinks away. It smells of nutty, biscuity caramel malt, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is bready caramel malt, some oily nuttiness, and fairly bitter earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, if a bit edgy, the body medium weight, yet not quite smooth. It finishes on a drying note, divided still between biscuit malt and leafy green hops.

A decent brown ale, however, the hops are not really doing a lot for me, in their creeping bitterness.

 686 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were moderately high given the reputation of the brewery. This was my first Surly beer, though I uploaded this review after my other Surly ones.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream, good thickness, and poor retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Coffee, heavy nuts, vanilla, and light cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Light coffee on the open, pleasant vanilla and light cream in the body. Nutty hops and light caramel. The finish is a touch metallic, which I find unpleasant, but it might be a draught error. Overall, it's decently complex and balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, and just thick enough. Kind of suits the flavour, but it isn't tailored to it.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the style, but for my first Surly beer, it's a bit of a disappointment. Coffee is a strange choice for a would-be brown ale.

 918 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two pints today at Four Moon Tavern.

Black body with foam that is the true definition of creamy. It leaves rings of in the glass that are connected by sheets of lacing. Head retention is good, and stays for the majority of the glass. Toasty malt nose. This beer showcases the malt, very smooth with some mellow wood and tobacco up against brown sugar and dry malt, with a hint of apple from the yeast. An earthy hop presence is noticeable in the first few sips, and even more later into the session. This seems to be the point of intrigue for me, that lasting earthy bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste, but disappears shortly thereafter. Very smooth and medium bodied, not filling, easy to session without sacrificing flavor. Nice stuff.

 747 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany color with garnet highlights and a creamy tan head that persists reasonably well and leaves shards of lace

Smell: Toasted brown bread, cocoa and hints of sweet orange

Taste: Starts out with a brown bread with chocolate and mild coffee flavors; hints of oat peek through by mid-palate; after the swallow, the beer shows that it is not just another brown ale by bumping up the bitterness with a nice citrus flavor

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full bodied with a prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Off the charts, this is one great brown that pushes the style in a direction any hophead would appreciate

Thanks, tempest, for the opportunity

 678 characters

Photo of oline73
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with some reddish light coming through at the edges. There is a half finger of light tan head that goes away completely.

Smell: Malty sweet, with notes of overly ripe dark fruit, caramel/molasses, and some roasty notes as well. Sweeter than I expected.

Taste: Initially very sweet with an extremely bitter finish for a brown ale. Sweet dark fruit up front with some molasses and roast, and then the sweetness fades dramatically and leaves a very bitter finish. I like my browns with more balance and nuttier.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with too little carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Not a huge fan of this one, which surprised me because I love the coffee bender. Not sure how old this can was, I'll have to revisit this one in the future.

 823 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

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Bender from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 1,969 ratings
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