[A]s temperatures rise, so do cravings for crisp, refreshing beverages. This summer we’re hopping on the trend train, indulging in refreshing coffee-infused beers. From cascara-infused farmhouse ales, to coffee pale ales, to coffee IPAs, coffee beers are no longer confined to dark stouts and porters. If these hoppy creations aren’t available in your area, reach out to your distributors to see what other coffee-infused summer beers they’re stocking, or reach out to your favorite brewery and see if they’re open to a creative collaboration.
When Fish Fly
Flying Fish brewery’s Exit 15 coffee IPA creates the sensory surprise of a light-colored beer with big cold-brew coffee aromatics and flavors. The full-bodied beer is perfect for hop heads—it’s hopped multiple times in the kettle then dry-hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Citra hops. The infused cold-brew adds coffee flavor while letting the hops do their job of adding bitterness.
Surly Day Drinking
For the last ten years, Minneapolis’s Surly Brewing has been brewing their Coffee Bender—a pre-noon staple for day drinkers. Surly adds ground coffee to their malt-forward brown ale to bring the Coffee Bender Brown Ale to life. Clocking in at forty-five IBUs from Warrior and Willamette hops, the Coffee Bender offers a jolt of flavor any time of day.
Everything’s Boozier in Texas
The Iron Joe is a collaboration showcasing the best of beverage from two Fort Worth, Texas–based companies: Avoca Coffee Roasters and Rahr & Sons Brewing Company. American oak—best known for giving whiskey its signature flavors and aromatics—takes the lead on flavor, quickly followed by distinct cold-brew, chocolate, and marshmallow notes.
Java the Hop
We didn’t even need to come up with a punny title for this one. Astoria, Oregon’s Fort George Brewing makes their Java the Hop coffee IPA by pairing Costa Rican coffee, roasted by Coava Coffee Roasters, with a single-hop (Mosaic) IPA. Light on malt but heavy on flavor, Java the Hop has bright acidity and a tropical finish. No mind tricks necessary.
A crisp and clean pale ale infused with fresh Colorado-roasted coffee, Snowbank’s Cranknbrew is well worth a spot on your summer shelf. A strong dose of coffee aromatics and flavors are complemented by light citrus notes with a smooth and dry finish, making this beer a great choice to sip on the patio, poolside, or while lazily floating down a river.
—Rachel Sandstrom Morrison is Fresh Cup‘s associate editor.