Tasting: April 4, 2014
Style: Brown Ale (with coffee)
Beer #: 527
Wednesday may have been the day to celebrate Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) arriving on New Jersey beer shelves – but it was also a day we get a glimpse at the ugly side of craft beer consumerism. The sad part is that innocent store clerks shoulder the abuse from frustrated customers everywhere. I have a friendly relationship with the clerks in the stores I frequent and I have the attitude that if I don’t get a limited release beer, I’ll be hopeful to get the next one. I was lucky this year with the hunt for KBS and even got enough to share with a few friends.
For me, rare beer is as much fun to hunt down as it is to enjoy. As I mentioned in a post around my fiftieth birthday, I have a wish list of beers I’d like to try but I’m not sure I have the patience to wait for them to arrive in New Jersey. Thanks to a new website (http://beta.thebeerexchange.io), I’ve turned my attention to trying to use the trade route to fulfilling my wishes. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve parlayed a few Bourbon County Brand Stouts and a couple of KBS into a number of legends like Speedway Stout by Alesmith, Hunahpu by Cigar City, Citra by Kern and Abyss by Deuchutes. Reviews to come over the next few months.
According to Matt from Illinois, this sixteen ounce can of Surly Bender was simply a throw in to balance out the box used in one such trade. I appreciate the surprise especially since I tried to Surly Bender and Surly Abrasive on-line from France 44 a couple of years ago.
As you can see from the photo, Surly Bender pours a cola brown. Quick ABV check — 5.1%. First impression on Surly Bender is that it has Smooth drinkability in a very complex flavored beer. Coffee dominates but there is a swirling underbelly of caramel, vanilla and nuts. I have to admit that I couldn’t see drinking this all the time and I couldn’t say that I enjoyed the second half of the can as I did the first. Overall, I’ll give Surly Bender 87 points.