10 Great California Coffee Beers

Top 10 California

Food GPS beer editor Sean Inman chooses 10 great California beers by style.

If brewers can create something magical with malt and roasters can find fabulous flavors in a bean, then just imagine what the combination can do.  Thankfully, in California, we don’t have to wishful think.  We have many great examples of coffee beers.  Here are 10 caffeine-charged beers to jump-start your day.

1. Noble Ale Works Naughty Sauce featuring coffee from Portola Coffee

One of the most hyped beers from 2013 exceeds expectations.  The marriage of Milk Stout with coffee is inspired.  So much so that there is now an imperial version, Bean Bump.

2. AleSmith Speedway Stout

This beer can be found in limited quantities, but is a must try.  A new Jamaican Blue Mountain mix is being released and their Vietnamese coffee version is wonderful.  It may require a taproom visit to find Speedway Stout, but you should visit them anyway.

3. Haven Brewing P.E.D. featuring coffee from Portola Coffee

Brian Thorson also brews up a fine El Barista Rojo but this below 5% ABV brown ale has a serious amount of coffee in it: 1.5 pounds per barrel.

4. Lagunitas Brewing Company Cappuccino Stout featuring coffee from Hardcore Espresso

Freshly ground coffee beans are dropped into the brew kettle to concoct this stout, which was not on the 2013 brewing calendar but hopefully will return this year!

5. Smog City Brewing Groundwork Coffee Porter featuring coffee from Groundwork Coffee

All I have to say is Great American Beer Festival and Gold Medal.  If Bloody Knuckle porter with coffee can run that gauntlet of beer judges then it is good.



Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman's writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

Blog Comments

Just had it again after an absence. The Greyhound in Highland Park had it on tap. It’s good and strong and would be in the top 15.

Black’s Dawn is #2 for me after smog city. Saint Archer Coffee Brown is decent too.

Great article, Sean! I love coffee beers. I’m adding that Bacon and Eggs to my beer wish list for sure. Sounds awesome! Cheers

Have you tried Cismontane Black’s Dawn?

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