I’m sure all of you know what I’m talking about. There is a veritable flood of coffee and espresso infused craft beer popping up everywhere. While this is not exactly surprising, it certainly does leave one wondering if Starbucks will be our next competitor at this rate. After all, the coffee moguls have mastered the art of drawing the public and it’s only a matter of time before someone says “hey, why not?”. That said, these craft brews are not bad by a long shot. To be honest, they’re pretty darn fantastic. Coffee in our craft beer has created a great range of craft brews for us to enjoy. However, we do have to look back at how we laughed at those who mixed Redbull and Vodka and take a deeper look at our brew. After all, the concept is there, and yes, we laughed.
When we say up and down, we mean it quite literally. The up from the coffee and espresso additions is not really noticed, but it is there. And we all know that beer, as a general rule, provides the down. Much like the Redbull and Vodka mixes we laughed at, it appears the same concept is creeping into our craft beer, though the results are obviously not as epic. For craft beer enthusiasts, the result is a delicious brew with an interesting flavor palette that just might have a bit more of a bite to it than other brews depending on the full list of ingredients.
For example, a super hoppy brew with espresso and cocoa may turn out very creamy and smooth with just the hint of a bitter bite at the finish. This suits both those who enjoy the espresso notes and the chocoholics in our midst quite well. After all, there are plenty of people who enjoy chocolate flavored coffee right?
While the idea does leave us to wonder if the coffee roasters are going to someday jump into the game, we are not all that concerned. After all, new craft breweries are a great thing and we wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from adding their creativity to the scene. Had we done so centuries ago we’d never have had the chance to enjoy some of the amazing craft beers on the market right now.
For example, imagine if the originators of Anheuser-Busch had chosen a different path due to the discouraging views of others. They are not to blame for the direction big business has taken the product, as they were the same as we are. Simple craft beer brewers who wanted to bring a great product to their communities.
Who knows, perhaps at one point, someone spilled coffee in their brew. For all we know they may have tasted the very first espresso or coffee infused craft beer on accident all those years ago, but never considered the idea of putting the two together. Had they done so, this trend would not be so interesting for the rest of us, as it would already be pretty darn common and we wouldn’t bat an eyelash over coffee in our craft beer.
Considering the popularity that is being gained by these brews and their chocolatey counterparts, perhaps Nestle will jump into the mix? Or Starbucks? Maybe Hills Bros. will finally have a new avenue to explore? The range of possibilities is honestly quite endless and the thought of so many companies joining the craft brewing industry is actually fairly exciting. We all love to see new craft beer hit the market, whether in year-round availability or simply one-off batches that retire quickly.
The whole point of the craft brewing industry is innovation and quality. Without the dedication learned from our predecessors, we would not have the knowledge we possess today. And without the innovative ideas that have come before us, we’d never have so many ideas now, such as the 60 Minute IPA, Milk Chocolate Stout, Mocha Marlin, and so many more delicious brews we’ve had the privilege to enjoy. We truly look forward to seeing how these changes and ideas will evolve over time and can’t wait to try the new brews that result from such creative minds.