Coffee beers just keep getting better, and this fall we’re turning our attention to the heavy-hitters—beers that amplify the coffee flavors and those warm, cozy feelings that come with sipping a pint.
Alesmith Speedway Stout
San Diego, CA, 12% ABV
Intense coffee flavor and a heavy mouthfeel define this award-winning stout. It’s bursting with flavors of fig, toffee and bitter chocolate, and it’s perfect for aging.
Ballast Point Brewing Company | Victory at Sea Imperial Coffee Porter
San Diego, CA, 10% ABV
Semi-sweet like a boozy vanilla latte, Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea plays warm vanilla flavors off bold cold-brew coffee. At 10% ABV, it’s a perfect after-dinner sipper.
Clown Shoes | The Barista
Ipswich, MA, 8.5% ABV
Dark and brooding (but far from bitter), this bold, espresso-fueled brown ale from Clown Shoes has a creamy sweetness that comes from flaked oatmeal and milk sugar. It’s sold in 22 oz. bombers, making it ideal for sharing.
Grand Teton | Wake Up Call Imperial Coffee Porter
Victor, ID, 7.5% ABV
Heady coffee aromas lead the charge on this medium-bodied beauty. Flavors of Nutella, baking chocolate and toffee fill the palate without smothering the subtle hop presence, and there’s enough of a bittersweet quality to nicely counter the malt profile all the way through the finish.
Founders Brewing | Breakfast Stout
Grand Rapids, MI, 8.3% ABV
Beer for breakfast? When it’s Founders’ beloved Breakfast Stout, the answer is “yes, please.” Brewed with a heaps of oats, imported chocolate and two types of coffee, this soft stout beautifully balances bitterness and a creamy, nutty oatmeal flavor.
Mikkeller Brewing Company |Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beer Geek Vanilla Shake
Lervig, Norway, 13% ABV
First released in 2013, this boozy Imperial stout is such a fan favorite that the brewery released a new batch this fall. With the same generous quantity of vanilla added to French press coffee, the latest version rests in used bourbon barrels for eight months, lending a big, viscous texture and oaky finish.
Oskar Blues Brewery | Hotbox Coffee Porter
Longmont, CO, 6.5% ABV
To make the freshest coffee beer around, Oskar Blues launched its specialty roasting arm Hotbox Roasters last year. Softly bitter cold-extracted coffee made with Burundi and Ethiopian beans provides the base of the brew, with English and German malts adding notes of caramel, walnut and coconut.
Sixpoint Brewery | 5BEANS
Brooklyn, NY, 10.5% ABV
Landing on the more elaborate end of the coffee beer spectrum, the most recent installment of the Brooklyn brewery’s “Bean Series,” 5BEANS is a Turkish-inspired “Bazaar Porter,” made with coffee, chocolate, romano beans, vanilla and black cardamom.
Surly Brewing | Coffee Bender
Minneapolis, MN, 5.1% ABV
One of the most potent coffee brews around, Coffee Bender is available year-round in cans and kegs. To make the beer, Surly’s fabulous oatmeal brown ale gets a boost from cold brewed Guatemalan coffee. The oats are key to its success—the sweeter malt bill makes for a borderline-warming flavor that balances out the intense hit of coffee.
Stone Brewing | Mocha IPA
Escondido, CA, 9% ABV
While the use of coffee in beers that aren’t porters and stouts is still relatively sparse, Stone’s Mocha IPA swept the country last summer, stealing the hearts of many beer drinkers. It’s the tail end of this brew’s season, so snag a bottle and drink it immediately if you find one, and if not, there’s always next summer. Can’t find a bottle in your neighborhood? The popular winter-spiced Xocoveza should be hitting shelves soon.