It was a lucky day last Saturday when I was standing in line for the some of the last growlers to be sold at Surly. I had a great plan of two furious, two bender. When I got near the front I discovered they had Coffee Bender for sale, in a growler... How cool is this! Plan derailed but I now have a more better new plan.
I've had coffee bender before at the brewery and some bars around town. I don't think its hard to find if you live in the area ( Twin Cities, check the Muddy Pig and Happy Gnome, I believe I've had it both places). It pours with a good sized head, tan. The beer itself is a deep brown maybe slightly reddish, I have a hard time telling in my lighting situation. The smell is coffee for sure. Very strong coffee, a nice dark roast, like the kind my grandpa used to make on the stove when I was a kid, but without the grounds getting stuck in your teeth. You get a little bitterness at the front of your nose, and then it smooths out as I breathe deeper. I can smell a lot of chocolate in this one too. Then the taste. A nice malty sweetness hits the front of my tongue, followed by the bitterness of the coffee near the back of my mouth. The coffee isn't over powering, and its backed by a nice hop flavor. For me I notice the coffee more in the back of my mouth and the aftertaste. To my taste the hops are not as forward as other Surly beers, but its hard to compete with the coffee. There is good balance between the malty taste and the coffee. Its very tasty. I hear it's coming to cans soon so hopefully it will show up in your neighborhood soon.