You may not think of coffee when you think of a great craft beer. In fact, you might not notice that the delicious stout you’re sipping was made with espresso. However, the simple fact is that there are several amazing craft beers on the market that contain hints of roasted coffee, espresso, mocha, and many other coffee variations. If you’re appalled at this concept, stop now. We’re sure you love to discuss new brews with people. Why not add the coffee crowd to your debate group? After all, you just might convert one of them and have them loving the craft brewing industry as much as you do!
This concept isn’t exactly a new one. Well, no concept is truly new anymore, considering this industry has existed for a few thousand years. For the purposes of mixing coffee and craft beer, we’re estimating (loosely) a few hundred years of existence, as we can’t exactly prove anything, but can easily see where it could have happened. For example, in Columbia, they have some amazing variations in the coffee they produce. We can easily imagine them creating a coffee influenced craft beer at some point throughout history.
Most coffee-inspired brews are Stouts, as this type of craft beer is the best suited to coffee infusions and the malty flavor lends a new dimension to the espresso and any other spices added to the mix. The result is a creamy, yet somewhat bitter brew that holds a multi-layered flavor palate that evolves as it rests in the glass. We love how the majority of these beers taste. Something about the way the malt, espresso (or roasted coffee) and other spices blend together just really comes together well in the brew.
There are a variety of these delicious brews on the market today. However, some of our favorites are:
Stone Brewing Company – Coffee Milk Stout
This brew is pretty darn awesome and the folks over at Stone Brewing really pulled it off. The bitterness of the coffee is perfectly balanced with the creamy milk sugars and the flavor profile seems to evolve very well in the glass. Great sipped slowly or as a quick go-to brew.
Rogue Brewing – Cold Brew IPA
This pairing of cold brewed coffee and a great IPA turned out well for Rogue. Their teamwork with Stumptown Coffee Roasters ended in a brew that tastes great while remaining true to the flavor profile of an IPA. We took their suggestion and paired the brew with pork spare ribs and it was perfect!
Claremont Craft Ale – Coffee Del
Claremont certainly hit this one right on the nose. The flavor is intriguing, while the finish is pretty much perfect. We let ours rest in the glass for about five minutes at a time and the evolution of the brew was pretty outstanding overall. Definitely worth the visit.
This is definitely an area where coffee lovers and craft beer lovers alike can come together in agreement. These brews are quite creative and interesting. While we don’t necessarily want Starbucks being our next competitor, we can certainly see where the draw is for these brews. We look forward to checking out more of them as they come onto the market!