Out of all the non-traditional brewing ingredients tossed into beer, coffee has to be one of the most natural fits—after all, “coffee” is a pretty common flavor descriptor of stouts and porters. But how does the java bean fare beyond roasted malts? Pretty well. Boulevard and Stone recently released two new coffee-spiked beers, and they’re both outside the box and worth hunting down.
Boulevard Coffee Ale—brewed in collaboration with Kansas City’s The Roasterie— packs a smooth, creamy backbone thanks to pale and caramel malts, as well as oats and rye. Roasted Ethiopian Sidamo coffee nicely contrasts the beer’s underlining caramel sweetness while slightly biting, citrusy hops coax out the spicy rye. It’s an easy swallow, and although it never loses its beery identity, you can’t help but think of those fancy coffee drinks after a few sips.
Stone’s newest collaboration beer, Dayman Coffee IPA, comes out of left field. Brewed with Two Brothers and the forthcoming Aleman brewpub (both based in the Chicago area), this beer offers a much subtler taste of coffee—it’s first and foremost a bold imperial IPA. Dayman smacks the tongue with heavy orange and dank hop flavors. When the hops clear in the finish, a very subtle roasted coffee bean note breaks through to add dark contrast to the bright citrus. This is a beer for any hophead who enjoys their morning cup of Joe.
Which beer style do you think would work well with a dose of coffee?