Bender | Surly Brewing Company

Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 1,969 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: 1,969 |  Reviews: 762
Photo of SortaAmbivalent
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of uustal
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
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 -1.7%

Photo of alalvarez75
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of CFCascade
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of matttttYCE
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
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 -0.5%
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 -1.7%

Photo of Heatwave33
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can to a Cigar City Snifter.

Color: Very dark brown with a khaki color head.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, hops and vanilla.

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, hops, malts and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and very smooth.

Overall: This a very dinkable coffee ale. Surly has not disappointed yet. Can't wait to drink more from them. Cheers!

 358 characters

Photo of zeledonia
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Longfellow Grill in Minneapolis. Enjoyed 27 November 2011, reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep dark warm brown, clear at the edges but too dark to see through. One finger of medium yellowish-tan head that relaxes to a nice cap.

Smell is dominated by lovely oats, backed up by sweet and rich malts. Notes of coffee, too. But the really amazing thing about this beer is how much complexity is built into a fairly small package. I can't put my name on all the things in the smell, but I can feel them all there.

Taste is wonderful. Full, sweet oat goodness, some hops that provide, not really bitterness, but some lightness and balance. Again, there are some hints of coffee from the malts. Some flavors I find hard to pin down, like root beer and maybe dried cherries. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is a fantastic combination of a fairly light body with the fullness and smoothness that oats provide, and ideal carbonation.

I simply love this beer. I feel lucky to have it as one of my local staples. I've savored it many times, and finally getting around to reviewing it. It's a classic example of Surly's take on brewing - combining elements in unusual ways to create unique, style-bending, fantastic beers.

 1,215 characters

Photo of DividedAvery
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of chenieprudhomme
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of smogfood
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Beerontwowheels
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of alwaysanswerb
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of avaldivia
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of ksherry112
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of melikesbeer
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of fuzzcherry
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of emaciated
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of dlello2
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Mahogany / dark cherry. Finger and a half of head goes away quickly. Looks like it might be lacking some carbonation.

S - Not fantastic, maybe a bit old. Some maltiness/breadiness.

T - Easy drinking. Distinct flavors as it goes down. Hits nicely, middle of the tongue is nice and hoppy, fades to bitterness. Not the best end ever.

M - Lacking carbonation to balance the taste. Leaves an taste/feeling that is not the most pleasant.

O - This beer was ok. None of the flavors were great, none too unpleasant. Wouldn't buy again... thought it was non-descript.

 565 characters

Photo of girllovesbier
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Bender from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88.2% out of 100 with 1,969 ratings
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