20 Delicious Coffee Beers for a Caffeinated Kick

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by brewthatcoffee

20 Delicious Coffee Beers for a Caffeinated Kick

Coffee and beer enthusiasts often seek to combine their passions, and the result is a unique hybrid: coffee beer. This beverage caters to those who appreciate the bitter notes of a stout or the rich flavors of an ale, enhanced with the complex, aromatic qualities of coffee.

Breweries have experimented with various brewing techniques and coffee blends, leading to a broad spectrum of flavors and styles. They range from light and effervescent to dark and robust, providing options for a variety of palates.

What Is Coffee Beer?

Coffee beer is an innovative fusion of two beloved beverages: coffee and beer. Brewers craft this unique tipple by integrating coffee—usually in the form of whole beans or cold brew—into the beer brewing process.

The coffee’s robust flavor complements the beer’s malty sweetness and hops’ bitterness, resulting in a complex final product.

Types:

  • Stouts and porters: They often serve as the base for coffee beers due to their natural coffee and chocolate notes.
  • Ales: Lighter beers, like blond ales, can surprise drinkers with their subtle yet distinct coffee infusions.

Key Characteristics:

  • Aroma: Coffee beers typically possess a distinct coffee aroma that can range from subtle to pronouced.
  • Taste: The taste profile usually features a noticeable coffee flavor, which can vary in intensity.
  • Appearance: The color is often dark, similar to a traditional stout or porter, but can vary if a lighter base beer is used.

Brewing Process:

  1. Selection of coffee: Choices can include single-origin beans or custom blends.
  2. Method of infusion: Adding whole beans, coffee grounds, or cold brew during various stages of brewing can affect the flavor.

When trying coffee beer, drinkers should note that the caffeine content varies depending on the amount and type of coffee used, making it a beverage best enjoyed with awareness of its potential kick.

Try These Top Rated Coffee Beers

Exploring the best that the coffee beer world has to offer, one can find a variety of stouts, porters, and ales infused with the rich, bold flavors of coffee.

Whether one prefers their brew with a hint of bourbon, a touch of chocolate, or a blast of espresso, the following top-rated coffee beers are bound to satisfy.

Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout by Goose Island

Goose Island Brewery showcased their ingenuity in craft beer with the release of Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout. After a hiatus, the 2022 edition marks a much-anticipated return, demonstrating a stunning collaboration with Intelligentsia Coffee.

The coffee utilized in this stout hails from the verdant landscapes of Burundi, known for its exceptionally clean and sweet beans that beautifully enhance the stout’s rich profile.

The selected bean for this edition, Turihamwe, aptly translates to “together”—a nod to the collective effort spanning continents, from the dedicated women coffee growers of Burundi to the expert roasters at Intelligentsia.

This stout promises a sensory delight, weaving together intricate notes of chocolate and caramel with a deep coffee essence.

Mourning Wood by Local Option

Mourning Wood is a unique beer crafted with care by Local Option. This oak-aged coffee amber ale boasts a harmonious blend of fresh American oak and the distinct aromatics of Dark Matter’s El Salvador San Jose pulp-natural coffee.

While these elements are prominent in the beer’s aroma, they integrate smoothly into the overall flavor without overpowering it.

The beer pours an enticing amber hue, inviting drinkers with its medium body and exceptional balance. It strikes an enjoyable middle ground that caters to a wide range of beer enthusiasts.

Bean Flicker by Oddside Ales

One of Oddside Ales’ unique offerings is the Bean Flicker Blonde Ale, a lighter beer option with a remarkable coffee twist. This blonde ale stands out with its manageable 4.5% ABV, making it a perfect choice for those who enjoy craft beers with moderate alcohol content.

Those sampling Bean Flicker can expect a harmonious blend of light ale qualities coupled with the robust essence of coffee.

Its name, Bean Flicker, playfully nods to the central role that coffee beans play in crafting this distinctive brew.

Speedway Stout by Alesmith Brewing Company

The beer has an ominous, pitch-black color and features dominant chocolate and roasted malts with notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. Local coffee enhances the dark chocolate notes, and it has fine carbonation with a creamy mouthfeel.

The beer is smooth and surprisingly easy to consume despite its 12% ABV and 70 IBU. It can be aged to further mature and is recommended to be served at a temperature of 50°-55° Fahrenheit in a tulip or goblet glass.

It pairs well with rich beef dishes, char-grilled foods, chocolate and vanilla desserts, salty blue cheeses (e.g., Stilton), and hard, nutty cheeses (e.g., aged Gouda, cloth-bound cheddars).

Rise Up Stout by Evolution Craft Brewing Co.

Rise Up Stout is a robust offering from Evolution Craft Brewing Co., boasting a deep black color capped with a welcoming tan head.

Crafted for those who appreciate the marriage of coffee and beer, this Russian Imperial Stout takes complexity to new heights with its oak whiskey barrel-aging process.

Beer aficionados will appreciate the stout’s balance where the heartiness of the bourbon barrel character does not overpower but instead harmoniously blends with the sweetness akin to rum and cane sugar, and the decadent dessert-like qualities provided by the stout’s secondary flavors.

Gusto Crema by Georgetown Beer

Gusto Crema is a unique coffee ale that has captivated both regular consumers and those with a more refined beer palate.

Georgetown Beer crafted this ale by incorporating the medium-roasted Gusto Crema blend from Caffè Umbria. The result is an ale that combines a creamy texture with the invigorating taste and aroma of cold brew coffee.

The ale’s character is defined by its use of oats and Munich malt, which give it a smooth and rich mouthfeel, appealing to those who enjoy a beer with substantial body.

BOMB! by Prairie Artisan Ales

BOMB! is an imperial stout by Prairie Artisan Ales, renowned for its unique infusion of flavors. This stout is a blend of four distinct ingredients: coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and chili peppers. Each component offers its own character to the resulting beverage, creating a complex and layered drinking experience.

The selection of coffee used in BOMB! elevates the stout with a bold espresso-like presence, provided by Spaceship Earth Coffee. These beans contribute a distinct richness that coffee aficionados would appreciate.

Cacao nibs add a complementary bitterness, balancing the natural sweetness found in the whole vanilla beans. The inclusion of toasted ancho chili peppers brings a subtle warmth that doesn’t overpower but instead harmonizes with the other flavors.

Baba Budan by Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Baba Budan, an adventurous brew by Appalachian Mountain Brewery (AMB), is an innovative take on the classic American India Pale Ale (IPA).

Inspired by the rich history of hop-added beers carried by 19th century sailors, this IPA incorporates an American twist with a citrus and floral hop aroma.

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In a nod to the legendary figure, Baba Budan, who is famed for introducing the coffee plant to India, AMB partnered with Fonta Flora Brewery to craft a unique beverage.

Baba Budan, the beer, celebrates the fusion of two distinct flavors: the boldness of freshly roasted coffee and the zesty notes of a West-coast style IPA.

Master of Disguise by Stone Brewing Co.

This intriguing brew from Stone Brewing Co. defies expectations, masquerading as a light beer while embodying the essence of a robust stout.

The captivating Master of Disguise blurs the boundaries between styles, challenging perceptions with its unconventional appearance.

Notable Ingredients:

  • Cocoa beans
  • Coffee beans
  • Flaked oats

The cocoa and coffee beans provide a touch of roasty flavors without altering the beer’s blonde appearance.

Flaked oats are included to give a silky mouthfeel, enhancing the overall experience and inviting drinkers to explore the craft from a new angle.

Coffee Stout by Schlafly Beer

The Coffee Stout crafted by Schlafly is a harmonious blend of bold flavors, offering an alluring dark espresso black color.

It presents as hazy yet captures a full body sensation, teetering between a medium sweetness and a significant bitter taste. This beer has an ABV of 5.7% and measures an IBU of 30, positioning it firmly within the robust world of stouts.

Cold Toddy Technique:
The brewing method showcases a meticulous process where a cold toddy crafted from select French Roast beans, sourced from St. Louis’ own Kaldi’s Coffee, is fused with their signature stout.

The result is a refined beer that spotlights smooth and slightly sweet nuances, underscored by the earthy tones of chocolate and coffee.

Coffee Bender by Surly Brewing Co.

Surly Brewing Co., a renowned craft brewery, offers a unique beverage that harmoniously combines the worlds of coffee and beer—their famous Coffee Bender.

This innovative drink infuses the robust flavors of freshly brewed coffee into a silky oatmeal brown ale base, creating a delightful fusion that appeals to coffee aficionados and beer lovers alike.

Taste and Aroma:

  • Rich java notes
  • Nuances of chocolate and caramel
  • Balanced bitterness

The Coffee Bender entices with a complex aroma that hints at the comforting warmth of a coffee shop, while the palate enjoys a rich and smooth taste with a hint of malty sweetness.

It’s a full-bodied brew with a moderate alcohol content that ensures a pleasant sipping experience without overwhelming the senses.

Single Origin Coffee Stout by Masthead Brewing Co.

Masthead Brewing Co., nestled in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio, proudly offers a unique blend of craft beer and artisan coffee in their Single Origin Coffee Stout.

Indulging in this brew gives patrons a taste that embodies the spirit of local craftsmanship, made with the meticulously sourced beans from Six Shooter Coffee.

The union of the brewery’s stout and Six Shooter Coffee’s single-origin beans creates a rich, full-bodied flavor profile.

Coffee enthusiasts and beer lovers alike find themselves enjoying the depth that this particular stout brings to the table.

Victory at Sea by Ballast Point

Victory at Sea stands as a triumph in the Ballast Point Brewing Company’s lineup—a full-bodied Imperial Porter that marries a rich malty presence with the nuanced flavors of coffee and vanilla.

It’s an ale known for its perfect balance, suitable to carry its drinkers through any tempestuous weather or, more simply, to enjoy on a quiet night.

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla: Brings a subtle creamy sweetness.
  • Coffee beans: Sourced from local roasters, Caffe Calabria, known for their quality products.
  • Malts: Curated to produce luxurious caramel notes.

The signature touch is the skillful infusion of cold brew coffee, chosen for its low acidity, which seamlessly integrates with the decadence of the caramel malt.

Tasting Experience:

  • First Sip: A welcoming sweetness hits the palate.
  • Mid-Drink: The smooth, rich texture of the porter shines through.
  • Finish: A pleasant blend where the coffee’s roasted profile and vanilla essence linger.

Cream Stout by Ozark Beer Company

The Cream Stout from Ozark Beer Company is renowned for its well-rounded character, perfect for enjoyment throughout the year.

With an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 5.3%, it provides a full-bodied experience that remains accessible to a wide range of beer enthusiasts.

Flavor Profile:

The stout presents a delightful tapestry of flavors.

Enthusiasts can savor the rich notes of dark chocolate and caramel that pair seamlessly with the distinct taste of coffee. It finishes with a gentle roasted touch that lingers pleasantly.

Onyx Coffee Stout by Ozark Beer Company

This stout is a unique offering from Ozark Beer Company, born from a collaboration with Onyx Coffee Labs. It features a 5.3% alcohol by volume, striking a balance between a robust body and approachable strength.

The Onyx Coffee Stout is a milk stout, distinguished by its inclusion of the French Roasted Monarch blend.

Renowned for their expertise in roasting, Onyx Coffee Labs contribute their signature cold extracted coffee to this brew, earning them the title of U.S. Coffee Roasting Champions. Consumers can anticipate a harmony of flavors with every sip.

Tasting Profile:

  • Flavors: A rich tapestry of dark chocolate and caramel, intertwined with the signature roastiness of coffee lends this stout a complex yet smooth character.
  • Body: It boasts a full body, providing a satisfying experience synonymous with traditional stouts.
  • Finish: A pleasant roasty aftertaste marks each mouthful.

Java Cask by Victory Brewing Company

Hailing from Downingtown, Victory Brewing Company presents their Java Cask Stout, a brew that boasts a satisfying complexity and richness.

It springs from a collaboration with Philadelphia’s renowned Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s, who provide the hand-roasted JB’s coffee that elevates this offering.

Imagine a stout, melding the bold and intense flavors of chocolate malts with a timeless barrel-aged character.

The sensory journey begins with rich coffee aromas, underpinned by a harmonious mix of sweet bourbon and a whisper of oak.

Notes of vanilla complement the bouquet, adding layers to anticipate in taste.

When sipped, the stout unfolds a symphony of flavors; dark chocolate and roasted barley take center stage, flanked by subtle vanilla nuances and a pervasive coffee presence.

Tweak by Avery Brewing Co.

Tweak by Avery Brewing Co. is crafted with a unique story and rich character, much like its feline-inspired creator, Parker.

This beer has undergone a substantial transformation, maturing in Bourbon barrels for four months. This aging process enhances its depth and complexity, resulting in a profile that’s robust and multidimensional.

Breakfast Stout by Founders Brewing

Breakfast Stout is a distinctive offering from Founders Brewing, designed with the coffee aficionado in mind.

This stout features a robust coffee aroma, combined with the creaminess of flaked oats and the rich flavors of both bitter and imported chocolates.

Tasting Profile:

  • Aroma: Roasted coffee with chocolate undertones
  • Flavors: Coffee, chocolate, caramelized sugar
  • Bitterness: Low
  • Sweetness: Moderate

Its deep, espresso-like scent is accompanied by a lasting, cinnamon-hued foam cap.

The brew balances its sweetness cleverly with a gentle bitterness, creating an experience that’s much like sipping a well-crafted latte.

Experience:

  • Head: Frothy with a cinnamon color
  • Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy

Cubano-Style Espresso by Cigar City Brewing Co.

The Cubano-Style Espresso is a distinctive English-style Brown Ale, crafted with the zest of Cuban-style espresso beans sourced from Buddy Brew Coffee in Tampa.

With an ABV of 5.5%, this ale fuses the essence of a fine Cuban coffee and the rich traditions of brewing.

The SRM of 30 reflects its deep color, akin to a well-brewed cup of espresso.

Flavor Profile:

  • Aroma: Malted milk, chocolate, freshly-ground coffee beans
  • Taste: Toffee, semi-sweet chocolate, with a toasty finish
  • Additional Notes: Complemented by espresso and milk sugar

The Brewing Process

The integration of coffee and beer typically begins post the initial brewing stages of beer. Brewers often add the coffee component during the secondary fermentation phase to avoid burning the coffee grounds, which can occur due to high temperatures during the boil.

Selection and Preparation of Coffee

  • Bean Choice: The choice of coffee beans is crucial, as it defines the flavor. Dark roasts impart strong, bold flavors, while lighter roasts contribute a more subtle, fruity accent.
  • Grind: A coarse grind is preferable to prevent over-extraction and to allow for easier removal from the beer.

Adding Coffee to Beer

  • Cold Brew Method: Coffee grounds steep in cold water for an extended period (12-24 hours), then the resulting coffee is blended with the beer.
  • Coffee Addition at Secondary Fermentation: Coffee added as whole beans or grounds directly to the fermenter.
  • Hot Brew Method: Less common due to potential bitterness. If used, a hot brewed coffee is cooled to fermentation temperature before adding.

Timing and Duration

Care must be taken with how long coffee is exposed to the beer to avoid over-extraction. The duration will depend on the chosen method and desired coffee intensity.

Final Flavor & Aroma Check

Before packaging, brewers taste the beer and adjust if necessary, ensuring the coffee flavor harmonizes with the existing beer profile without overwhelming it. A balance is sought between the malt sweetness and the coffee’s bitterness and acidity.

Note: They might conduct small batch trials to perfect the coffee-beer combination before scaling to the full brew volume.

When exploring the realm of coffee beers, they encounter a variety of styles that intertwine the rich, roasted flavors of coffee with the complex characteristics of beer. Below are some popular styles favored by enthusiasts.

  • Coffee Stout: A staple in the world of coffee beers, stouts often have natural coffee and chocolate notes. When brewed with actual coffee, the flavors become more pronounced, creating a rich and robust experience.
  • Coffee Porter: Porters, sharing a similar profile to stouts, tend to be a bit lighter in body. Their malty sweetness pairs well with the added depth from coffee, producing an approachable yet flavorful beer.
  • Coffee IPA: A more adventurous choice, coffee IPAs are a unique fusion. The hop bitterness complements the coffee’s acidity, delivering an unexpected but pleasant flavor contrast.
  • Coffee Cream Ale: Cream ales infused with coffee offer a smoother, softer palate. They sometimes feature vanilla or other sweeteners to enhance the creamy aspect.
  • Coffee Lager: Lagers aren’t typically known for bold flavors, but when coffee is added, it can transform the beer into a crisp yet nuanced beverage with a clean finish.

Here’s a quick look at how each beer style generally pairs with coffee:

  • Stout: Best with bold, dark roast coffee.
  • Porter: Complemented by medium-dark roasts.
  • IPA: Pairs well with light to medium roasts, often with fruity undertones.
  • Cream Ale: Harmonizes with light, sweetly aromatic coffees.
  • Lager: Prefers a balanced, medium roast to match its subtlety.

They can find these coffee beers at various craft breweries, beer festivals, and specialty liquor stores. Each style offers a unique avenue for coffee and beer lovers to explore.

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