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:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,961 |  Reviews: 760
Photo of AKuehn47
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Vidblain
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of karlt
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of redblacks75
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of cosmic-ray
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of orion320
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of RConnealy
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of comfortablynirm
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ortie
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of traviswhillier
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of nickleeye
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of pizza
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ahbithwabm
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of udubdawg
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of pwoods
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks a ton, Scoobydank, for this excellent trade.

16oz. can poured into a pint.

A: Very deep brown with just a bit of ruby hues coming through in the light. 1-1 1/2 finger light tan head. Head holds for a bit then drops to a 1/4in + for most the ride. Nice patching of lace.

S: Subtle. Rich bread and toasted grains. A slight hint of sweetened chocolate.

T/M: A small touch of grassy hop zip for a split second then only a beautiful malt dominance. Roasted malts and bread with a touch of chocolate and vanilla. Very good and very clean. Body is about medium, not too heavy on the palate.

D: I know it's not the same style but I just want to say "Guinness, eat your heart out". The drinkability of this is everything Guinness Draught wishes it could be.

 760 characters

Photo of PEBKAC
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with Leftmindedrighty. The can has a rather large set of teeth marks in it. I hope Aaron doesn't feel too conflicted or he may hurt another inanimate object real bad next time. I can just picture him, "If I can't have you, no one can! /CHOMP". :P

The can pours out a little lackadaisical, obviously still reeling from the sudden attack, barely escaping with its beer intact; Barely a quarter inch of head, & no noticeable activity down below.

Minimal head on this dark, ruby-hued beverage. First off, I smell a mixture kind of like the first time I had coffee; 4 creams, six sugars, a swig of milk, another sugar, some hot cocoa mix... all added to about six ounces of Colombian coffee. The sugary toffee & creamy lactose I smell is very obvious. It smells sweet, but so far, I don't have the coming ons of a headache, so we're good to continue.

Muted coffee, a little marshmallow, something like a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream dunked into a cappuccino(but with the addition of a mildly lingering, leafy bitterness). It doesn't quite knock down all the pins set up by the beer with its scent, but I doubt that anyone could easily fit someone's imagination into just a 16oz can.

It feels insanely creamy & even frothy like a nice cold glass of milk. More like a stout in this department then brown ale, I appreciate getting the best of both worlds... a great texture, without the blackened taste I personally try to avoid.

I came in expecting a brown ale, but got something a little off center. It was tasty regardless. Thank you Aaron. :)

 1,569 characters

Photo of TCgoalie
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a standard brown ale brown with a small white crown. No lacing.

Cocoa, coffee, and Scottish smelling malts meld very nicely with a pine like hop aroma. A touch of vanilla and belgian funk add some more interest.

Quite a bit is going on with the taste. The malt profile is very interesting creating a coffee, oatmeal, cocoa like base. The hops are subtle and really help to balance the sweetness. There is an element of Belgian-ness in this as well.

Medium in the mouth with a nice smoothness.

I am happy to try yet another Surly brew. This is a very nice brown ale and I'm hoping to try the coffee version soon.

 622 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can into pint glass

dark brown in color, tan head. good lacing. nice coffee and caramel malt flavor aroma. taste is bold - chocolate, coffee, caramel. thicker bodied, nice mouthfeel.

 193 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Durty Nellies. This is the last of the Surly at Durty Nellies for a while and that makes me very sad!!!

A: Pours a dark brown with some clarity, ruby highlights, thin head, little retention

S: chocolate and oats on the front followed by some spicy hops and a sturdy malt profile

T: smooth chocolate and coffee notes on the front, lots of roast and oats, drinks more like a light bodied stout than a brown ale...this is a good thing

MF: light body, smooth and silky mouthfeel

D: this beer is delicious. Not as good as coffee Bender IMO, but pretty close.

 575 characters

Photo of mcrawford
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SuomenAmerikkalainen
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Josholson666
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tedvr
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark with a thin white head. Smells are coffee with a malt background. Taste are coffee and malt with a nice balance. Mild carbonation. Really nicely balanced beer.

 178 characters

Photo of Thirstygoat
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mdaschaf
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerThursdays for sending this one my way.

A: Pours nice ruby/brown color with a two finger off-white head, thick and foamy. Great retention.

S: A surprising amount of hops, some nuts, caramelized sugar, and some doughy malt.

T: Lots of caramel, a hint of smoke, there is a sweetness in the midpalate. The finish has a slight coffee dry flavor. Not as hoppy as the aroma lead on, but they are present in a slight floral taste.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, the level of carb seems just right. Very smooth and crisp, surprisingly refreshing. Slight dry finish.

D: A very tasty, sessionable brown. Great flavor and extremely easy drinking.

 668 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More