Wake up and smell the...

Coffee is probably my favourite non-alcoholic beverage. So when married with my favourite alcoholic beverage a match in heaven is formed (in my view, of course, to some coffee beer is akin to marmite). What's more the combination of beer and caffeine seems to work immediately, rather than a few hours later as with regular coffee.

A slew of brewers have been including coffee in their brews recently...or at least aging it over beans.I've reviewed a couple before...Hardknott Vitesse Noir and Summer Wine Barista.
There's always room for more coffee beers in my mind and with the creme de la creme of craft brewers indulging us I thought I may as well partake.

De Molen Kopi Luewak is dark brown-black with fizzy cola head. Rich and fruity nose with plenty of rich coffee flavour and a long fruity coffee finish. the high ABV (11.2%) is well hidden.

Kernel Coffee IPAs -In a world of stouts with coffee its refreshing to try a pale ale brewed with coffee, the fruity flavours pair well with those found in new world hops. I was lucky enough to try both batches. The first had tangerine and sherbert on the nose and an initial tart gooseberry followed by plenty of roast coffee and a pithy citrus/bitter coffee finish. Good mouthfeel, not to oily. Batch 2: Darker Amber with coffee much more to the fore on the nose. At first tangerine and a bitter sweet malt with long coffee finish. Well balanced this one. Mark Dredge's thoughts on this beer are here and Mark Beer.Birra.Bier here.

De Struise Black Damnation II - Mocha Bomb is another dark coffee beer, with a rich and fruity nose andh rich coffee flavours. Theres a roasted barley astringency to the finish. Some hints of vanilla appear further down the glass.

Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel (slightly disturbing video there) has a near cult status as it uses coffee reclaimed from the poo of the civet, supposedly the freshest you can get. Rich and viscous black pour with temporary teak head. Subtle smoky coffee on the nose. Coffee fills the mouth and coats every surface with underlying chocolate and a ling roasty and astringent finish. Alcohol tingle but otherwise very well balanced.

As for my favourite? Well at the time of drinking I rated Hardknott Vitesse Noire the highest, with the De Molen Coming in right behind.

So get some ocffee beers in your life if you haven't done so already! With at least one more coffee stout planned in the near future (Summer Wine KopiKat) 2012 looks set to be as caffeine fueled as 2011.


  1. Worth pointing out that Kopi Leuwak is also civet cat coffee. And while I trust that given the breweries involved, it's probably ethically sourced wild civet coffee, there's enough disturbingly notorious cage-farmed, force-fed, laxative produced crap out there to keep me away from it. More interested in De Molen's Mout & Mocca, or others who name their roasters like the Brewdog/Has Bean and Dungarvon Brewing/Badger & Dodo collaborations.

  2. interesting, i'll look more into the ocffee sourcing. I know the kernel beers state where their beans are sourced from too, but not sure about the others.