While I’ve had coffee infused beer in the past, this particular stout will put hair on your chest. I’m grabbing tweezers.

At last year’s Brew’s Best, Chicago Brewing Company had a coffee infused beer which was delicious…at the festival. Unfortunately, when I went to get a pint at the restaurant in order to relive the ecstasy, someone had apparently forgotten to charge the CO², and the beer, while still somewhat tasty, was very flat.

I saw the bottle of Lagunitas at Trader Joe’s and had to buy it.  I like cappuccino (extra foam, thank you very much) and I like beer. Since I’d already tasted what was possible, I thought I’d give it go.

Lagunitas3Lagunitas is a brewery located in Petaluma, California, whose roots go back to Chicago where their flagship brewery still operates.  While the “Our History” portion of their website reads like it was written by someone fully immersed in their excellent beers, it gives the story of how the brewery started. It’s almost coherent. I know that they are crazy just from the names that they give their beers, including Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ (if you’d like a translation, just drop me a line), Censored, Hop Stoopid, and Brown Shugga’, among many others.

But back to the beer! It is easily as dark as Guinness with just a touch more translucency.  It has hops! It is an IPA and that bitterness is hopped up (pun intended) with the addition of coffee from their good friends in Sebastopol, Hardcore Coffee. The ground coffee is dropped into the fermentation tank and the coffee character is infused into the beer. While its ABV is 8.9%, the IBUs (International Bitterness Units) is a moderate 29.50.  Compare that to the 100 IBUs of Stone Ruination, and you can see that this is a great beer for IPA newbies.  The coffee apparently adds just a touch to the bitterness.

On the nose, the Cappuccino Stout is fresh and clean, with just a touch of the pine notes that you’d expect from hops. The coffee comes through as an undertone, Lagunitas2
subtle but definitely there. There’s also a touch of toffee and dark chocolate on the nose as well.

This is a beer drinker’s beer.  The bitterness is there, but its complex taste has toffee, coffee, earth, a bit of breadiness, and a touch of bitter chocolate on the finish. This is a food beer, and I wish I’d had ribs (or maybe breakfast!) that would pair with it.  This is completely delicious, and for only $4.99 a bottle, I recommend it highly.

It is a Limited Release, which in this case, means that it’s only available during a few months of the year. They have made this beer for years, and it’s only available during the first three months of each year.

Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. It’s what’s for breakfast.




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