Seven amazing coffee beers brewed right here in Pittsburgh | Drink | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Seven amazing coffee beers brewed right here in Pittsburgh

click to enlarge Cold Drip City coffee blond ale from Spoonwood Brewing Co. - CP PHOTO: RYAN DETO
CP Photo: Ryan Deto
Cold Drip City coffee blond ale from Spoonwood Brewing Co.
Hard to imagine a better way to start a drinking session than with a mix of booze and a little caffeine. It’s probably not smart to take that advice to an extreme (we all remember the Four Loko bans of the late 2000s), but a nice beer mixed with a small amount of coffee can produce a really pleasant beverage that might slightly counter the sleepy effects alcohol can have on people.

Again, please don’t take several espresso shots and then chug a bottle of vodka, that’s really dumb. But the combination of some locally brewed beer with locally roasted coffee beans really is a great union. This is especially true in winter, when days are short and temperatures drop. A hearty porter with a tiny java kick really hits.

And Pittsburgh has plenty of coffee beer options, from blonde ales to stouts, and even a barrel-aged monster of a beer. Here are seven amazing coffee-beers brewed in the Pittsburgh region.


Cold Drip City - Spoonwood Brewing Co.

5981 Baptist Road, Bethel Park. spoonwoodbrewing.com
Arguably one of the best beers brewed in the area, this blonde ale is brewed with milk sugar and infused with cold-brew dark roast that’s selected from Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange. Unlike most coffee beers, it's light in color, which can come as a surprise. But it’s easy drinking, smooth, and has a pleasant, and not overpowering, coffee finish.

Brick Top - Cinderlands Beer Co.

Multiple locations. cinderlands.com
The base of this coffee beer is a Belgian Quadrupel, which is heavy on the malt and has a high-alcohol content. Brick Top comes in a whopping 10% ABV, so sip it slowly and bask in the sweetness, which is mellowed out by the strong roasted notes of Onyx Coffee Negusse Nare Bombe, a natural Ethiopian coffee.

Brutality Coffee Porter - Southern Tier

316 N. Shore Drive, North Side. stbcbeer.com
This Western New York-based brewery has a facility in Pittsburgh, and one of its locally brewed beers is the Brutality Coffee Porter, an American-style porter brewed with beans from Brewtality Coffee Co., which is based in Lawrence County, Pa. It’s a classic take on coffee beer, a roasty porter clocking in a 5.5% ABV, enhanced by the roasty goodness of coffee beans.

Café Rico - Hop Farm

5601 Butler St., Lawrenceville. hopfarmbrewingco.com
Winter is here and that means it's stout drinking season. Warm up with this Latte Stout that is brewed with KLVN Highline blend coffee beans, Saigon cinnamon, Madagascar vanilla bean, and orange peel. Café Rico combines all these flavors nicely in a smooth and strong stout coming in at 8.7% ABV.


click to enlarge Triple Shakes barrel-aged imperial coffee porter from Hitchhiker Brewing Company - CP PHOTO: RYAN DETO
CP Photo: Ryan Deto
Triple Shakes barrel-aged imperial coffee porter from Hitchhiker Brewing Company

Triple Shakes - Hitchhiker Brewing Company

1500 S. Canal St. #2541, Sharpsburg and 190 Castle Shannon Blvd, Mt. Lebanon. hitchhiker.beer
A goliath of a beer that is best shared. Available in 16 ounce cans, attempting to finish a serving of Triple Shakes all at once is a mountain to climb as the ABV is 11.5%. However, this beer — a barrel-aged imperial coffee porter — is a near perfect high-alcohol beer. Barley wines have always been an acquired taste, but Triple Shakes mimics one with very sweet and hearty maltiness up front, and a touch of whiskey notes, then balanced out with a strong and roasty finish of 19CoffeeCompany coffee beans.

Morning Feels - Grist House Craft Brewery

10 E. Sherman St., Millvale. gristhouse.com
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire ... and then add them to some beer. Morning Feels coffee and tea ale has all of that holiday spirit, and some coffee to boot. Clocking in at 6.5% ABV, this ale is light, and described as “a beer you can get cozy with.” Brewed with chestnut, Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange coffee, vanilla, milk sugar, and an effervescent tea from Gryphon's Tea.

Nocturnal Rainbow - 11th Hour Brewing Co.

3711 Charlotte St., Lawrenceville. 11thhourbrews.com
This beer has two iterations, but the original is where the coffee is at. Nocturnal Rainbow is a milk stout with a solid 5.6% ABV and is brewed with Moka Java blend from local favorite La Prima coffee roasters. Described as having notes of chocolate, molasses, lightly roasted coffee beans, and hints of lime and a mild spiciness.

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