Beertography and Review: Surly Bender

Brewed by: Surly Brewing Company
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota USA
Style: American Brown Ale
ABV: 5.5%

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

Another shout-out to Jacob, a.k.a. “Sud Savant” for this little gem. Sadly, Surly is not distributed in Ohio : (


The beer pours a dark cola brown with a nice 1.5 finger head with solid and lasting retention. A moderate level of visible carbonation is present as small bubbles stick to the side of the glass.  A touch of spotty lacing trails throughout the session.

AROMA (10/10)

Aroma opens up with some roasted malts and biscuit which are rounded out with some chocolate, toffee and caramel notes. Hints of oatmeal, brown sugar, vanilla. Grassy hop notes come through on the back end. Nice hearty smell! Spot on for this style.

FLAVOR  (18/20)

First thing I notice is a slightly nutty roasted malt taste; immediately followed up with a creamy oatmeal and brown sugar combination. Chocolate and roasted malts, some caramel, toffee, nuts, vanilla beans. Notable hop tingle on the finish, but this beer seems to be about balance and smoothness. Much more complex than typical brown ale.


Bubbly, medium carbonation which lends to a slick feel.  Feel is smooth and creamy thanks to the oatmeal. Slightly dry finish with lingering bitterness.


Fantastic brown ale. Very nice take on the style. One of the best brown ales I’ve ever had.

FINAL SCORE  (47/50)



Filed under Beertography, Review

3 responses to “Beertography and Review: Surly Bender

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one dipping into our traded brews! Great minds drink alike!!

  2. I can not thank you adequately for the posts on your web site. I know you’d put a lot of time and effort into them and hope you know how much I appreciate it. I hope I’ll do exactly the same for someone else at some point.

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