Naturally, the guy (me) who puts on a coffee beer festival (Baker’s Dozen) is into putting coffee in beer. And the style(s) that make the most sense is/are stouts and porters because of their innate coffee-ness. But we’ve come a long way, baby. For over a decade, ever since the Brewers Association introduced what was then called the “Coffee Flavored Beer” category at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival, the winners have been exclusively stouts or porters infused with coffee. It wasn’t until 2014 that Milwaukee’s MobCraft Beer broke the streak with a beer I’m not sure I’m allowed to name on CraftBeer.com where I wrote this story…but its “PG-name” would be “Guano” Crazy built on a brown ale base. Suffice it to say, I’m guano-crazy about coffee beers.
When does a collaboration beer between two brewing companies only include one brewery? When the partner brews coffee (CraftBeer.com, Aug. 2012). More and more, coffee beers are brewed with help from a craft brewery’s local roaster who likely understands their individual needs and personalities, for the ultimate friends with beanies.
Though hops often do the heavy lifting for beer’s aroma and flavor, when coffee is added, it contributes quite the pick-me-up.