Coffee, Tea or Beer?


Something new is brewing in craft/independent beers. Coffee has been a staple for brewers to use in porters and stouts for years, but there is more experimental light-bodied beer that use coffee in a more delicate approach. Elsewhere, breweries are starting to infuse their beer or take inspiration from tea.

With the lighter coffee beers, one of the more popular styles use is the white stout. This quirky beer is technically neither a white ale nor a stout, but is a light color, light body beer that has the flavors and aromas of a classic stout. The addition of coffee to this beer accentuates the stout-like qualities of the beer and tends to only darken the hue slightly. This style isn’t widely available commercially at this time but many brewpubs and tap house have had these pop up as a new experiment by the brewers.

The most commercial of the coffee beer in a lighter style was probably the New Belgium Giddy Up! First introduced in 2008, Giddy Up! is a red ale brewed with espresso and lemon peel. The nose has a strong coffee aroma, but the flavors are subtler with the lemon peel adding a refreshing zing. At 6-percent alcohol by volume, it’s an interesting way to get your coffee fix and beer enjoyment.

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