Coffe and beer are amongst the most consumed beverages around the world. Therefore it is obvious to combine both in one drink. The first brewer to brew a commercial coffee beer was in 1994 Diploma Master Brewer Dan Carey and his wife Deborah Carey from New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus/Wisconsin. When the beer won a silver medal at the B.T.I.– World Beer Championships two years later, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) became aware of the product and put a halt on coffee beer due to its caffeine content. After all the problems, especially the declaration of caffeine on the label, were resolved, many more breweries joined the club and invented their own coffee beer.
The way to combine beer with coffee varies a lot from one brewery to another: Some breweries add coffee to the wort in the brewhouse or to the beer in the fermentation or storage tanks. Others age the beer on roasted coffee beans or steep grounds, making a “cold toddy”. This gives a wide variety of flavors.
As the craft beer market in the U.S. is maturing, even more breweries look for exotic beers and finding their ways to coffee beer. Nowadays it is not only coffee stout, which pioneered the market because the dark brown color and the smooth taste of stout matches very well with coffee. More and more breweries combine ales (Goose Island Fulton St. Blend Coffee Ale, Alaskan Heritage Brown Coffee Ale),Pale Ales (Graveyard Shift Coffee Pale Ale), IPAs (Stone Mocha IPA, Moirai Coffee IPA), Cream Ales (Sxpoint C.R.E.A.M., Regular Coffee Imperial Cream Ale), Porter (Sixpoint 5Beans, Hotbox Coffee Porter), Kölsch (Laimas Coffee Kölsch) and many other beer styles with coffee.
But besides beer with a taste of coffee, we also see a reverse product, coffee with beer. Starbucks was testing such a product in some selected outlets in September but it was not reported if this test proofed successful. But even, if Starbucks does not continue this product, you can still get a beer mixed with coffee in your favorite Irish pub: Just ask for a “Muddy Dublin” and you will get an espresso poured into a pint of Guinness.