Bender | Surly Brewing Company

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1,976 Ratings

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

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

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Ratings: 1,976 |  Reviews: 764
Photo of beerhan
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Scotchboy
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes, reviewed 1/6/12.

Another can from Aaron, thanks man! Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a very dark brown. Lots of foamy light tan head.

S: Malt sweetness, hints of an oaky vanilla, chocolate and caramel, as well as nutty & woody notes like your typical brown.

T: Follows the nose, with more maltiness, toasted caramel, charred wood and light coffee astringency.

MF: Pretty creamy medium body with low carbonation.

O: Pretty much the best Brown Ale I've had, drinkable and smooth with decent flavor and nose.

 533 characters

Photo of fitzgerald88
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of jignrig
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ghostwalker
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with vigor into my CBS snifter.

Thick dark brown body with a solid finger of tan head.

Nose is sweet, dark and rich. Brown sugar, dark fruit. This is a nice smelling beer.

Rich and smooth. Brown sugar or molasses notes. Notable hop tingle on the finish, but this beer seems to be about balance and smoothness. Much more complex than a typical brown ale. Reminds me of Pete's Wicked Ale, back when Pete's was my favorite beer.

Mouthfeel is silky and slick. Moderate carb, easy on the palate.

Overall is very high. Never expected to like a brown ale this much ever again.

 581 characters

Photo of weeheavy4950
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of minneapolitanjim
5/5  rDev +22.9%

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

Review adapted from notes taken 7/20/11

Appearance: Dark brown, some clarity is apparent around the edges - nice little beige head, leaves nice lacing

Smell: Way more complex than a typical brown ale - it has the sweet, dark, bready, brown ale malts - but there are also hops - adds a fruity edge, some leafiness - roasted, a little burnt, and some creaminess

Taste: Cooked, dark brown bread - a really nice level of sweetness, hints of caramel, toffee, molasses, coffee - slightly burnt - a lot of interesting flavors in this - a slight hoppiness, some bitterness - some aspects kind of remind me of a sweet bagel

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, smooth

Overall: One of the best brown ales I've had

This is so much more interesting than an "average" brown ale. There is some room for improvement, but it is a great accomplishment. I would drink this a lot if I could get more.

 893 characters

Photo of kdpark
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of IdrinkGas
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%

Photo of CMB2012
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can dated 10/06/11. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Fizzy khaki head that disappears pretty quick. Mostly dark brown with some light showing through around the edges.

S- Nuts, toffee, chocolate, and caramel. Nothing complex, but on par for the style.

T- Lots of bitter-sweet cocoa, some toffee on the end with a crisp hop finish that brings a slight bitterness to the plate.

M- Lots of prickly carbonation which I think takes away from some of the flavor, but this isn't uncommon for the style. I would like it a bit more toned down though. Lingering dry and semi-bitter taste in the mouth with cocoa (think cocoa powder).

O- Brown ales are not my favorite style by any means, but I do enjoy a good one. This is pretty tasty, think I might enjoy it more in the fall.

 768 characters

Photo of aliving1
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of dragomni
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of MrHirschybar
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ATPete
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of riverrunt421
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce can, canned on date of 11/22/11. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown (that you can see through some when held up to a light) with about an inch tan head that stays around a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like caramel malt, vanilla, coffee, nuts, chocolate, and some light hops. It tastes like caramel malt, nuts, coffee, chocolate, and some hops. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I liked it. It's definitely worth trying.

 548 characters

Photo of Riggsenater
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of vikinghorn
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Beer pours out darker than I expected; this is a dark brown that is quality porter or stout brown. When you hold it up to the light it looks more like a brown ale. Has some deep amber red to lighter brown. Frothy tan head with some better than average lacing to it, comes up big after a reasonably hard pour. Bottom line is that it's a good looking beer.

Smells pretty good. Brown malty aromas. It's got some sweeter beady notes along with some nuttiness. Doesn't end there though, there are also some light coco aromas and even some hints of coffee. Some slight fruity hops.

Taste is good, it's very malty, but a good amount of hops too, I guess you can say big all around flavors. Some nutty, earthy and fruity flavors. Again there are hints of coco and more coffee than in the smell. Really good tasting and all around strong beer.

Mouthfeel is good. Full bodied with a perfect carbonation level. Flavors are well balanced and it's pretty smooth. Very drinkable all around solid beer. Glad to finally try it. Thanks stratt721

 1,087 characters

Photo of LornaLee
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of MyTBeerDrinker
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of Beerdius
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Bender from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 1,976 ratings
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