Coffee Bender | Surly Brewing Company

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Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bender steeped cold for 24 hours in coarsely ground coffee beans from the Vinca Vista Hermosa plantation in Guatemala.

Added by feloniousmonk on 05-28-2006

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Reviews: 848 | Ratings: 2,636
Photo of aoampm
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can poured into a a pint glass.

Look is nice. A dark brown / light black color with a finger head that lingers likea mofo! It's been close to 5 minutes and the head hasn't gone down at all. Not much lacing.

Smell is huge on roasted coffee bean, cocoa, and vanilla lactose. Some hazelnut also.

Taste is more of the same. Coffee bean is up front along with the milky lactose and some more cocoa and roasted malt.

Feel is unsurprisingly light bodied and not very thick. Drinks like a typical lower ABV stout. Reminds me of the feel of Stone Milk Stout.

Overall it's a good beer for what it is. Not sure why it's classified as a Brown Ale because it really drinks like a Stout. Nice offering.

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Photo of mooseisloose
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Love coffee, love beer, let's give this one a whirl. Popping the top I get a waft of Arabica coffee. Pours to a deep coffee brown with a foamy dark tan head. On the taste this brew I get lots of coffee up front and throughout and strong dark coffee like I like it. The brew has perfect mouthfeel and carbonation. Truly a coffee bender. Great for breakfast as I am enjoying now. Fire up the sausage and eggs!

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can poured into a pint glass

Dark liquid , taupe 2 finger bubbly foam cap , some lacings

Nice roast coffee aroma

Roast coffe taste , light,

Good beer

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark beer with tan foam and nice lacing. The smell is so good, loads of coffee, chocolate, and a roasted nuttiness. The taste is what I have been searching for, just a load of fresh coffee, chocolate, and sweet malt with a nice mix of nuttiness give this a terrific balance. I love coffee beers and this one is a home run, just a great mix of flavors that rock it out. Very good. Medium feel and creamy, great for a winter night.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pounder into a tulip

Dark maple syrup color, no haze, billowing light tan head - intense sweet iced coffee in the nose, sleek carbonated coffee and cream, easy on the sugar. Feels like more coffee than beer. Unique in my world. Definitely a bender but I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Photo of Cfred371
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a dark brown with some ruby red edges to it, and a slightly khaki head.

Smell: The aroma is almost pure coffee. I get a lot of roast, chocolate, and earthiness

Taste: Similar to the nose, the taste is dominated by a coffee with some chocolate, malts, roast, and other complexities. I feel like a lot of these flavors actually come from the coffee added.

Feel: Almost light bodied, Coffee Bender is slightly disappointing. I need to remind myself that this isn't a stout or porter, so the body shouldn't be viscous, but the flavor and color with the light body throws me off.

Overall: This is a delicious beer, and well worth the occasional four pack. The coffee is rich, and chocolate forward.

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Photo of Lucular
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Easily the most coffee-forward beer I've ever had, both in the smell and the taste. Tastes pretty much like 50% Bender and 50% cold-brewed vanilla coffee. Very tasty.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Type: 16-oz. can
Glass: Clear 14.75-oz. porter/stout glass
From: My cousin, Sam
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received on Nov. 30, 2016
Consumed: Dec. 10, 2016
Reviewed as: American Brown Ale
Misc.: Canned on Aug. 29, 2016 at 9:59 a.m. CT

Thanks, Sam!

Had been wanting to try this one for a long time and was lucky enough to get a can from Sam. Big Surly fan and big coffee beer fan. Looking back I gave Bender a 3.88 back in the summer of 2011 but I was just starting my reviewing process then. Have some high hopes here.

Poured a dark-to-light black brown color with two fingers of khaki tan frothy head. Could see a few bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Bad watery spotty lacing. Poor retention. (Sight - 2.50)

Smelled bitter coffee beans, roasty malts, bitter dark chocolate, espresso, slight char wood, burnt molasses and ashtray. For the style and type of beer, nailed it. (Smell - 4.50)

Taste followed the nose almost exactly. Probably had this a tad too cold. Got roasted bitter coffee malts, dark espresso, mocha, char wood, ashtray, burnt molasses, licorice, toasted toffee and hints or dark caramel. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter, roasty finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Loved this one. No hiding it and a great name. I really need to start drinking coffee. (Overall - 4.50)

4.36 | 97 | A

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Photo of AustinWadkins
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours amberish-brown with a 1/2 fizzy head that soon forms a film over the surface

Aromas include lots of creamy coffee, chocolate, and caramel

Taste follows the nose with delicious coffee, followed by some bits of chocolate and caramel, with a hint of vanilla

Overall this a fantastic beer if you love iced coffee! A great beer to get you Sunday funday started!

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Photo of obrike
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a hazed dark brown color with an ample cap of tan head. Decent retention and lace.

You like coffee? You'll love it. You don't like coffee, please skip and don't review.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black...head doesn't last too long on this one.

Wonderful fresh coffee scent...maybe with a bit of creamer added in as well.

Taste really blends the deliciousness of the Bender with a fresh coffee flavor. Not uber bitter though as there is a bit of sweetness on the back end.

Goes down smooth and is really good on a cool evening. Low in alcohol so feel free to have another.

Delicious. Once of the best coffee beers I've had

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

16oz can from CNRowland (thanks!). Canned 7/5/16. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours brown with ruby highlights and about a finger and a half of pale tan head. Retention amounts to a few surface wisps and a wide belt that leaves a few small random specks of lace.

Smells of coffee, caramel and chocolate. The aroma of the particular coffee used is great.

Taste follows the nose. Coffee, chocolate and caramel. Excellent coffee flavor but little else. The lack of any alcohol presence keeps this quite easy to drink.

Medium light feel with fairly mild carbonation. Coffee continues its dominance in the aftertaste, letting through just a hint of chocolate malt.

Brown ales are not a go-to style for me but Surly has a tasty one here. Coffee Bender is a mighty nice coffee fix that is a must try for any fan of coffee beers.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

good looking beer, super creamy head. huge notes of cold brewed coffee, roasted nuts, brown sugar, dark malts. all the flavors coming together really clean and the medium bodied mouthfeel is perfect in terms of enhancing flavors while still keeping drinkability ridiculously high. overall a really excellent brew.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with a creamy head.

Smell is pure coffee, very clean aroma.

Nice coffee brown ale, good flavor and creamy smooth. One of the better coffee ales I've ever had.

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Photo of bwood06
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had my eye on trying this one for a while but just hadn't done it until recently. Bought a 16 oz. can and poured it into a standard pint glass due to not having any other glass available at the time. The head is creamy and rich, khaki in color, and dissipates rather slowly to a rocky lacing that is retained nicely. The beer itself is dark brown with a bit of mahogany around the edges. Carbonation seems to be fairly light with small bubbles rising slowly toward the surface. 4.25/5 The aroma is very heavy on the coffee although there is plenty going on here. Dark roasted malt, molasses, and dark chocolate all come out and provide a fairly sweet aroma but this sweetness is cut by the coffee. An earthy nuttiness also permeates the aroma, toning down both the sweetness and dark roast. 4/5 The flavor is very much like the aroma with a nice molasses sweetness coming out on the tip of the tongue and then being followed up by dark roasted grains, dark chocolate, and then the coffee. The coffee is very active throughout the entire profile with an accompanying bitterness that is fairly light but noticeable. This bitterness lingers ever so slightly on the finish. The earthy nuttiness from the aroma also comes out, along with a bit of char, mainly on the back half of the flavor, and cuts into both the sweetness and coffee bitterness. 4.25/5 Medium bodied in stature with a light carbonation burn up front that fades quickly. Moderate dryness comes out in the middle of the sip and lingers for a moment or two after swallowing. 4/5 Very well balanced coffee brown ale that features a nice sweetness while keeping the focus of the beer on the coffee. Fairly sessionable beer that is light enough to have multiple while providing excellent flavor. 4/5

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Photo of Beaver13
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours clear light ruby brown with a medium frothy light tan head that retains fairly well and leaves little lacing.

The aroma is sweet chocolate malt and roast coffee.

The flavor is a lot of roast with some sweet nutty chocolate malt and a lot of roast coffee. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little thin.

Overall, a nice coffee beer.

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I drank this very cold on a hot day, and it was great! Very refreshing, and the flavor was like a fancy coffee drink. This is an excellent coffee beer that isn't too heavy so it hits the spot. Geed anytime.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.29/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Light red-brown, darkens at full pour, with a large tan head that dissipates to a persistent film, leaving tons of cobweb lace.

Roasted coffee aromas are almost the sole influence, with the exception of a little astringent, metallic note in the background.

Taste is old school coffee grounds. It reminds me of the 80s actually, and I didn't realize I would have that distinct a memory of coffee in the 80s, but now that its hits me, it's very clear to me that coffee in the US was quite different at that time. Aside from that tin tub of coffee grounds, I also get some raisin in taste.

Frothy, a little tangy, but overall, quite a weird one for a basic coffee beer. I actually liked it better completely at room temperature.

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Photo of cuttlery
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Awesome coffee brew. Awesome winter beer. Its a perfect beer for drinking by a fireplace on a 20 degree minnesota winter day. Full of coffee aromas and flavor.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surly Coffee Bender, 5.1% ABV, 45 IBU, American Brown Ale. Pours medium thickness, brown color, five+ fingers of tan head, decent lacing, nose is coffee coffee coffee. Taste follows, though not as bitter as most coffee beers. Overall excellent and a nice variation on the usual coffee stouts. Could drink these all morning.

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Photo of matcris
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Black, but a nice ruby bulb when held up to a light. Nice full carbonation rising. Good 2 fingers of creamy, khaki head that lasts and lasts. Tremendous lacing down the glass.
AROMA: You can smell black, sweet coffee from a foot away from the glass, that's good. Up close, smells like a very rich, black cup of coffee. Almost burnt roasted, love it, and I don't drink coffee.
TASTE: Tastes more like a cup of iced coffee than a beer, really. There is some sweetness overall, but mostly that deep roasted, bordering on burnt/charred flavor.
FEEL: Carbonation is light-medium, there is a nice creaminess to the beer. Body is Medium light. Not chewy at all.
OVERALL: Maybe I should start drinking coffee.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Comes in brown in the middle, red to the edge. Solid head, 3/5". Coffee aroma is just perfect. I mean perfect.

Taste is a nice sessionable brown ale with loads of coffee. Coffee I've always thought works better in non stout styles, less to clash with, drown out. Rather simplistic and better for it: brown malt and coffee. Can't screw that up.

Will buy this every time I can. Just phenomenal stuff.

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Photo of mlockman
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Holy Moses, this beer is amazing; honestly, this might be my favorite coffee beer. While I'm used to only being satisfied by imperial versions of coffee stouts and porters, this beer's strong aromas and flavors were so intense, I completely forgot this was practically a "session beer."

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Photo of parris
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Noticeably thin body for a beer with so much flavor. Although not unpleasant.

As advertised, tons of coffee flavor and aroma. But not super roasty or chocolaty like espresso, more like a quality cup of breakfast coffee.

Lightly carbonated, hardly bitter at all.

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz can 12/21/15 canning date

I have never had a beer that tasted so much like straight coffee. As a matter of fact, it was more like coffee than beer! This is one tasty, crushable coffee brew.

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Photo of pearsewalters
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From the can in Estelle's in Wicker Park. Bold, yet refreshing!

One finger head into a quaint lace. I'm expecting a deep brown (the bar light is too dark to tell and by candle light is ruby red). Smell is strong, slap-your-face coffee, reminiscent of chocolate covered espresso beans. Taste is a rich, malty complex of coffee (of course), toast, chocolate. Medium to light-medium body, crispy on the tongue, soft on the back pallet, like it ought to. Overall? Quality beer with an interesting story. This is my first from Surly, and I'm certain to try another from them.

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Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,636 ratings.
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