As a coffee drinker and a beer drinker I consider coffee beers as the perfect union. I don't recall what my first coffee beer was but two that have been around for a while are Surly Brewing Coffee Bender and Furthermore Oscura. I don't get many of either these days but thankfully I've seen a considerable uptick in the number of coffee beers in this market.
Over the weekend I stopped in at Bailey's Taproom and had an amazing one - Old Town Brewing Ol' Joe. Brewer Bolt Minister has been turning out great beers in general and this is just another example of his fine work. Technically it's an old ale brewed with coffee, thus the 7.25% ABV, which is likely the reason for the amazing mouthfeel. Combined with great flavor, this is a beer I hope to enjoy more of.
Beyond coffee beers that have the expected dark color both Cascade Brewing Black & White Oblique Coffee Stout and Harvester Coffee Pale Ale are delicious head scratchers. They have a color you would expect from a pale ale or IPA so that's what you would expect from the flavor. But no! A second taste, this time with one's eyes closed, and you would swear that the color must be a dark brown or black.
All of this coffee beer talk leads me to a festival coming up this Saturday. Goose Hollow Inn, on the west side of downtown, is putting on the NW Coffee Beer Invitational. Since I first heard about it a couple months ago it's something I've been looking forward to. The festival will showcase the work of 12 brewers that incorporated locally-roasted coffee into their entry. If you enjoy coffee beers I'm pretty sure you don't want to miss out on this.
NW Coffee Beer Invitational
Saturday, January 25th 1:00 - 7:00 pm
Goose Hollow Inn
1927 SW Jefferson St., Portland
$12 admission includes a festival glass (actual glass) and six tasting tickets