Bender | Surly Brewing Company

1,961 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

For Trade:
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Ratings: 1,961 |  Reviews: 760
Photo of jmarsh123
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with traces of red and a finger of off-white creamy head.

Aroma is sweet caramel and some bready malts.

Starts off with a bready malt sweetness. A bit of a hop spiciness invades at the end and it finishes a bit drier than expected with a good lingering bitterness.

Fairly creamy and full bodied for such relative low ABV. Good carbonation levels.

Very satisfied by this Surly offering. A lot of good complexity and mouthfeel for a beer barely over 5%. Also a decent amount of subtle hoppiness for a brown.

 529 characters

Photo of ChrisPro
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of brewnic
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of jophish17
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of bigben94
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of photomike
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of sommersb
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 12-13-2011
Freshness: Canned on 11-07-2011
Packaging: 16 oz. can
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Received in a trade

Nice to see a full 16oz. pint serving in this can!

Pour reveals a clear beer of dark brown color with red tints. Head is creamy and tan, maybe 2 and a half fingers. Good retention and lacing.

Aromas feature malts, with caramel and light bready notes, as well as earth hop oils and maybe some hints of nut.

The taste is more bitter than the aroma led me to expect. Big hoppy bitterness in the beginning - seems quite a bit more bitter than most browns. As the beer warms, the malt flavors come through, making for a more balanced beer. There are also roasted grain flavors like coffee.

Feel is smooth and creamy, I suspect from the oats described on the can. A medium amount of carbonation, with a dry finish with lingering bitterness.

Overall an enjoyable beer - my first from Surly. I prefer brown ales to be more malt-forward than this, however.

Thanks to Crass3000 for this one!

 1,017 characters

Photo of javincik
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of frogships
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of nathanjohnson
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of MrKennedy
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml can poured into a Mikkeller tulip. Thanks to stevef03 for the trade!

Pours a deep brown with a creamy looking beige head of foam. The head retention is excellent, spotty lacing on the way down.

The smell is a nice mix of caramel, nutty malt and coffee, all working in well together.

Taste leans more towards the caramel and nutty flavours, both in decent doses, though not as well pronounced as a nose indicates.

Mouthfeel is good, body a little small for the beer, but the coffee bitterness adds a bit in this department with the finish.

A good brown ale, different with the coffee aspect and better for it. Very drinkable and a nice different interpretation of the style.

 686 characters

Photo of pirmannt1
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of PhatAtUT
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of marct
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Shango42
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of xpdrinker
2.93/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

16oz can poured into a Surly pint glass, both courtesy of @ShawnBGP. No noticeable canning/expiration date.

1-finger light-tan head rests atop a clear reddish-brown body. Minimal lace, head dissipates quickly. Nutty, toffee, caramel aromas and flavors. Oats and reams of office paper also come across the nose. Reminds me a lot of Cigar City Maduro, but lighter in body and alcohol comes through more easily. Prickly carbonation. Hops are a little more pronounced as it warms and the beer leaves a dry, slightly metallic finish with a faint hint of pepper and raisin.

Overall I do enjoy this beer (second time having it) but I'm more eager to try Coffee Bender. Maduro is one of my go-to beers here in FL and like I said, this reminds me of it, but I don't know if I'd drink it as often were I living in MN.

 809 characters

Photo of SortaAmbivalent
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of uustal
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really pure, dark brown with a nice light coffee colored two finger head. Average lacing and retention. Not getting a whole lot from the aroma. Really slight notes of vanilla, coco and some hop oil. Nice subtle, balanced flavor. Semi-sweet chocolate, nice vanilla notes and some very muted nuttiness, toffee and caramel. Slight, but definitely bittering citrus and oily pine hops close this one out. Not a stand out beer, but very nice for the style.

 458 characters

Photo of doucmehu
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of alalvarez75
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of CFCascade
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of matttttYCE
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2 Finger, slightly off-white, creamy head. Head retention is pretty good. Lace not so much. Color of the beer is cola/deep burgundy.

Aroma is of cola, some roasted and lighter malts, caramel, plenty of nutty aromas, hints of coffee, cocoa, and vanilla. Hints of hops in there as well, but they're really drowned out by the cola aromas.

Very similar to the aroma. Cola, sweet caramel and roasty malts, nutty taste, lighter chocolate and coffee, a bit of bitterness from the hops, maybe some slight vanilla in the background there. Easy drinking for sure.

Consistency is crisp, carbonation is light as well, body is light, almost thin, and the finish fades quickly but not in an instant. Mouthfeel overall leaves a bit to be desired.

Overall - A decent beer overall. One worth trying in my book, but not anything that knocked my socks off. Just a good brown ale.

 864 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color: Very dark brown, tan colored head.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, typical brown ale aroma

Taste: lots of chocolate,some vanilla/chocolate undertones

Mouthfeel: medium bodied

Overall: quality brown ale and a perfect hit for style. would drink again and would love to have other products

 292 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Bender from Surly Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 1,961 ratings.
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