For me, the bottom line is that I will always choose a Furious over a Bender. Not that the two are really even in direct competition, they’re different styles of beer. It’s just that I love the extreme bite of a Furious so much. So it’s hard to pass that by and opt for a Bender. Of course if I were going to be drinking one after the other, Bender would be a much better companion. But typically when I have Surly it’s that I’m splurging on a 4 pack, and I want to savor them, so I’m only gonna drink one at a time anyway.
Here’s a good analogy I just thought of (mornings happen to be my most creative time): Bender is like your best friend. You can go over to his house and play war, video games, go skateboarding, etc, all day long. He’s awesome. But he’s got an even awesome-er older brother. When the older brother is around he’s kind of a dick to your best friend, but he’s just so damn cool, that you’ll join in and be a dick to your best friend, just so that Furious, I mean the older brother, thinks you’re cool.
I absolutely love everything about Bender. The look, flavor, aroma-all of it. Deceptively smooth and expectedly delicious. It is a bastard child of a brown ale and a porter, with a little more hops than either bring to the table alone. I’d constantly keep this in the fridge if the price was a little bit easier on the pocket. Go on a bender with Bender and your wallet will certainly feel it too. But as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. A premium price for a premium beer. Don’t let imminent economic meltdown make you drink crap beer, though. I think it was the Bible that stated, “Man cannot live on crappy beer alone.” Preach.
Synopsis: brown ale with a bite.
I’ll second the claim that it follows the Surly formula of taking a good beer and kicking in a few more hops just because. It has a complex flavor but is easy to drink and finishes smooth. I had it on tap with pizza…what could have gone wrong?
Take an ordinary oatmeal brown ale and add more hops then seems prudent, then add a bit more hops and you end up with Bender. I like Bender for the contrasting tastes and smooth finish. Also, the Surly beers are great for camping since they can be crushed and easily packed out when you’re done. Something we took advantage of last summer. Just be sure to take one glass because this is a beer for a glass… from a can.