Review of Surly Bender

24 Feb
Hey guys.  What’s up?  I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.  Well, it’s about time for another craft beer review, so today I’m going to be trying the Surly Bender produced by the Surly Brewing Company located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.This will be my first time ever trying a Surly brew.  I’ve heard and read a lot of great things about them, so it’s fairly obvious that I’m excited about trying the Bender.

Let’s check the website,, and see what kind of info we can find.

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, caramel and hints of vanilla and cream. An easy-drinking ale with many layers of satisfaction.

Time for a pour.
This beer came in a 16 oz. can and it had an ABV of 5.1%.
It poured a very nice brown color with some burnt orange hues around the edges and the bottom of the nonic glass.  The head was tan in color.  It was also very soft, creamy and smooth.  The size was not particularly large, but the retention time was solid and it left behind some very nice lacing as I sipped.
The nose was pleasantly roasted.  Hints of roasted coffee bean, toasted breads and toasted nuttiness.  Primarily along the lines of hickory nuts and walnuts I thought.  A nice combinations of earthy, leafy and floral tones added some complexity while a minor touch of chocolate and just a bit of toffee completed the well balanced and rather enjoyable aroma.
The taste presented a more robust coffee aspect than did the fragrance.  More of a discernible amount of chocolate was found as well.  Flavors of burnt bread crusts, grains and a chalky nuttiness smoothed the bitter taste a bit from the chocolate, coffee and earthy hops.  I detected a very light touch of caramel sweetness too.  It wasn’t much, yet it was pronounced enough for a slight aspect.  Like the nose, the taste was fairly well balanced and agreeable.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, crisp, chewy and dry.  The carbonation was of medium strength and a nice bit of flavor was left covering the tongue and roof of the mouth in between sips and for the duration of the drink.
Overall, this is a very solid Brown Ale.  It’s sturdy all the way around.  The drinkability was great and it would really suit the Fall or early Spring season to a “t”.  The ABV is low enough to be able to enjoy a few of these during one sitting without too much trouble at all.  I’d really like to try it again sometime.  Actually, I just like to try another Surly brew period.  So, if you guys are lucky enough to have the Surly Bender distributed in your area, but you’ve yet to give it a try…. pick up a can and pour it on a cool afternoon.  I think you may really enjoy it.  I know I did.
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.
Until next time.  Cheers.
Score:  3.9 out of 5
Grade:  B+
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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Country: USA, Surly


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