The Best Coffee Beers to Start the Day Right in 2022

by Karl S Updated on July 6, 2022

Yup, a coffee beer is a thing. If you’re unfamiliar with them, let us introduce you to a new world of beverages.

Many coffee beers have maple syrup flavors with a refreshing iced coffee twist inspired by Mexican hot chocolate.

Simply put, these aren’t your usual drinks. You may not know where to start, but we do – so dive into our list of the top fifteen best coffee beers below!

The Top 15 Best Coffee Beers

Are you ready for the fifteen coffee-infused beers we’ve lined up for you today? Let’s get started.

1) Best Overall: Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout / Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout

Source: foundersbrewing.com

Is a regular coffee not cutting it with your snacks? The Founders’ Breakfast Stout is here to help.

If there’s such a thing as perfection, the Founders’ Breakfast Stout achieves it by aging bourbon barrels. Chocolate and coffee flavors reign supreme with vanilla, cocoa, and charred oak.

The Kentucky Breakfast Stout has a high alcohol content of 12%, but the IBUs remain at 45. Pair it with your favorite nuts and desserts.

2) Best Value: Modern Times Black House

Source: moderntimesbeer.com

The Modern Times Black House beer is a roasty and coffee stout beer with low bitterness and alcohol content! You can enjoy the taste of oats and roasted barley malt with this drink.

Plus, the taste of the black coffee is quite the variety, with 75% Ethiopian and 25% Sumatran origins, all roasted at The Modern Times Black House.

You can get the most flavor and variety from this beer!

3) Best Budget: Ballast Point Victory at Sea

Source: ballastpoint.com

Some of the best coffee beers come to fit your budget. The Ballast beer is no exception, but it’s bolder and better this time.

This bold, robust porter brew comes infused with vanilla and Caffe Calabria coffee beans.

The result? A coffee beer with subtle flavor and sweet caramel malt, perfect for easy drinking.

While the beer may fit your bill, don’t think it comes cheap – it’s a highly awarded beer with ten titles to date!

If you need a slight buzz, this beer comes with 10% alcohol content and has 60 IBUs for bitterness. The acidity is minimal, and the sweetness will make you crave more.

4) Surly Brewing Company Coffee Bender Coffee Beers

Source: surlybrewing.com

Are you looking for a light, refreshing drink? The Surly Brewing Company has just the beer for you.

The Coffee Bender has a moderate bitterness, with the alcohol content at 5.5%.

The house oatmeal brown ale mixes with locally roasted Guatemalan coffee, with rich, cappuccino-like malt flavors.

It also has Colombus and Williametta hops that add to the flavor.

This beer is best if you’re looking for something close to an iced coffee! Look into The Surly Brewing Company here.

5) Terrapin Wake ‘N Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

Source: shop.terrapinbeer.com

This particular release, Wake ‘N Bake coffee oatmeal beer, gets you going throughout the day!

This coffee oatmeal beer infuses with Jittery Joe’s coffee, nugget hops, flaked oats, barley, chocolate malt, and black malt.

The bitterness balances at 50 IBUs, with an alcohol content of 9.4%. It’s rich, smooth, and velvety with oatmeal and coffee beans.

6) Rogue Ales and Spirits Cold Brew IPA

Source: drizly.com

The Rogue Ales and Spirits’ Cold Brew IPA is a revolutionary blend of Rogue beer and StumpTown Coffee Roasters’ cold brew coffee.

The Rogue cold brew has an alcohol content of 7.5% and is quite bitter at 82 IBU. Rogue Ales has crisp, smooth, and fruity notes to its flavors that you’ll enjoy!

8) Southern Tier Cold Brew Coffee Pumking

Source: stbcbeer.com

A nitro cold brew coffee mixed with imperial pumpkin ale creates a smooth, decadent flavor. This cold brew coffee has a moderate bitterness with 8.6% alcohol content.

The aroma is fantastic for those who love the roasted coffee flavor with pumpkin pie spices, vanilla, and nuts. This complex brew results in a dark beer with chocolate malt and cacao nibs in the coffee beer category.

9) Santa Fe Brewing Company Imperial Java Stout

Source: santafebrewing.com

This complete, imperial stout coffee comes from locally roasted and organic beans. This beer-infused twist comes off bitter, thick, and creamy.

For its IBU or International Bitterness Units, the Imperial Java Stout is at 50. It also has an alcohol level of 8% to make you feel the buzz you crave.

10) Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb! Imperial Stout Coffee

Source: prarieales.com

This dark brew is a coffee beer with a lot of flavors to offer. The Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb! has espresso, chocolate, and vanilla notes in the brewing process.

The Bomb! part has much to do with the ancho chili peppers you can also find in the flavor.

It’s unique, creamy, and chocolatey all at the same time.

11) Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter

Source: funkybuddhabrewery.com

Need a hoppy brew for breakfast? The Maple Bacon Coffee Porter is a rich coffee that combines many complementing flavors in one drink.

Sip the taste of maple syrup, smoky bacon, and roasted coffee flavors. Drink it fresh with your favorite breakfast food to savory delights: from bacon and pancakes to short ribs and steak.

This black coffee is relatively light, so don’t worry about drinking it early on with your first meals. The alcohol level is at 6.4%, with an IBU of 35.

12) Left Hand Milk Stout

Source: lefthandbrewing.com

The dark roast of the coffee in the Left Hand Milk Stout balances by the milk and sugar combo! There are also notes of dark chocolate, caramelized sugar, and malt.

This Milk Stout beer is as sweet as possible with an IBU of 25. The ABV isn’t high either, sitting at a low 6%. If you want to start your daylight and sweet, get this multi-awarded beer for the morning!

13) Stone Brewing Co. Master of Disguise

Source: stonebrewing.com

This beer combines black India pale ale with cocoa, coffee, vanilla, malt, and fruity flavors.

It has a full-bodied and smooth profile, with a balanced bitterness level of 55 and an alcohol content of 9.7%. As a coffee stout, this golden-hued beer brings much more to the table than you think.

It’s perfect to go with numerous meals and drinks. Desserts and cigars aren’t exempt, either. This beer truly brings pairings to life with its flavors.

14) Southern Tier Tripel Cafe

Source: beerconnoisseur.com

Tripels are famous for their balanced and aromatic style, and this Tripel Cafe is no different. It makes it even better.

Ingredients include Green coffee beans, orange peel, coriander, and Belgian yeast yield citrus notes, toasty flavors, and delicate sweetness.

It has an 8.8% ABV for those curious!

15) Stone Brewing Xocoveza

Source: stonebrewing.com

Who knew you could have Mexican hot chocolate in your beer? Peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee combine in one beverage to produce a coffee stout for cold days.

Enjoy it fresh with English Challenger, and East Kent Golding hops! The multiple flavors evolve to render a full-bodied, smooth, and bitter taste.

No worries, though – it’s still sweet at 50 IBUs. The alcohol content is at 8.1%.

What Should I Look For In Coffee Beer?

These are the factors to consider before purchasing or consuming these wonderful beverages!

#1 ABV

ABV simply stands for alcohol by volume. It’s how alcoholic your drink is.

The higher the ABV, the higher the alcohol content your beverage has.

You may notice that while most of the beers we’ve listed above have chocolate and vanilla flavors, they are still coffee stouts. They’re still strong beers with an 8% to 12% range in alcohol content!

If you want a lighter buzz, go for a more refreshing drink at 3-5% ABV.

#2 IBU

If ABV measures how alcoholic your drink is, IBU measures how bitter it can get. It stands for International Bitterness Units.

The scale goes from 0 to 120+. Again, the higher the number, the more bitter the beer is.

You may notice this measure a lot in the beer industry. If you look at our list above, IBUs can range from 40 to 60 IBUs.

The IBU can affect how you want to decide your preferred flavor profile.

#3 Flavor Notes

What kind of coffee notes would you prefer? Look into each beer’s flavor notes’ description to see which one fits the bill!

You can choose from sweeter flavors to roast, malty ones. What matter is that you get what you like.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We’ve covered a lot so far, but we understand if you still have some questions you want to clear up.

Does Beer Go Well With Coffee?

Surprisingly enough, beer does go well with coffee!

Coffee and beer share a lot of similarities. They both require roasting to extract similar flavor profiles and are quite aromatic.

Most coffee beers are paired with specific roasts and fermentation togo well together.

Usually, you’ll find dark roast coffee paired with blonde ale or pale ale. Other standard brews are coffee stout and chocolate malt.

Is There Such a Thing as Coffee Beer?

Yes, there is such a thing as a coffee beer.

Typically, these are beers with an infused twist. Coffee beers just have coffee and beer mixed. However, most breweries have different techniques for mixing beer and coffee flavors.

While fermenting beer, breweries usually add dry grounds of coffee. They also add cold brew coffee to already brewed beer.

Another popular way is to make cold brew coffee beer. Instead of the brewing water, the whole coffee beans are steeped in brewing liquor.

Usually, porter and stout beers are used for coffee beers. Brewers typically want something with dark malt flavors.

After a while, you now find brown ale, cream ale, and pale ale flavors were also incorporated into brewed coffee.

What Kind of Beer Has a Coffee Taste?

Some dark beers have coffee flavors. Otherwise, most coffee beers will have the coffee notes you’re looking for!

Most beers with a coffee taste will meet expectations; bitter, with a bit of caffeine and alcohol mixed.

Some may be sweeter than others, but most of these beverages with a coffee taste will give the same atmosphere and vibe!

Summary

Okay, so who won our search for the best coffee beer in town? We have three contenders that you can look into!

Best Value: Black House by Modern Times

This coffee beer offers the best value in terms of the coffee-beer quality. You get the most flavor and variety with cost-efficiency thrown into the mix.

However, if stretching the funds are your primary problem, we recommend going for our best budget pick!

Best Budget: Ballast Point Victory at Sea

Our best budget pick has to be the Ballast Point Victory at Sea coffee beer. It’s multi-awarded with the best notes in its flavor, too.

While affordable, don’t think it’s cheap – it has vanilla, and Caffe Calabria beans roasted to perfection.

Best Overall: StumpTown’s Coffee Beer

We love this beer for its versatility and variety. Overall, we feel this is the best fit for most buyers – including you.

Despite its sweetness, it’s relatively low on sugar, too! You can find an equivalent of a black cup of coffee in every serving.

Coffee Beer Recipes:

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our rundown of the best coffee-infused beers you can get in town!

While we have our top three recommendations for the best possible beverage for value, budget, and overall categories, you still have the freedom to choose your preferred flavors.

Remember what you want to look for and see which food you can best pair it with.