For the longest time, Surly and another brewery called Oskar Blues were two of the few micro brewers that canned their beers. Now, the country is being invaded by aluminum vessels, and even some of the big brewers like Sierra Nevada, Avery and New Belgium are canning their beers. I guess that means Surly is a brewery of trendsetters. When you see a can, remember, it doesn’t mean the beer inside is bland. This can is better than most bottles out there.
Just remember to use a glass! I poured the contents in a snifter so I could really taste and smell what this beer had to offer. The first thing I noticed was the color as it filled my glass. Coffee Bender is a chocolate brown color, but it’s not entirely dark like a stout or porter. It had light brown lace around the edges of my glass. The smell is of very strong coffee with just a hint of sweetness. I happen to like coffee so I was excited to try it. It definitely tastes how it smells – like coffee – fresh coffee with just a touch of sugar and cream. This was the first coffee beer that I had that wasn’t a porter or stout when I first tried it years ago, and I was impressed by how well the brewers could incorporate the coffee taste in a brown ale. The mouthfeel is a little weird because I am used to drinking coffee beers that are thicker like a stout, but it wasn’t bad – in fact, it made the beer very refreshing. There was enough carbonation to remind me that I am drinking a beer, with a creamy body. Overall, if you like coffee you will love this beer. It’s lighter then a stout or porter so those of you that don’t like “dark” beers should definitely give this one a try. The cold extraction process for the coffee does exactly what it promises. It’s like an iced coffee more so than a cup of coffee. I really enjoyed this beer, especially on a 80 degree day! It was refreshing and invigorating.