Brewers love to call upon coffee’s bold, rich flavors in their imperial stouts or porters. We’ve seen plenty of collaborations between craft brewers and artisan coffee roasters: Think the Brooklyn Brewery and Blue Bottle teaming up for Intensified Coffee Porter, and Union Craft Brewing working with Baltimore’s Vent Coffee Roasters on a coffee-infused version of its Snow Pants Oatmeal Stout.
But coffee can work in lighter styles of beer as well. Exhibit A: Oskar Blues’ new Hotbox Coffee IPA. After a Simcoe-heavy IPA is brewed and fermented, it’s blended with a cold-brew extract made exclusively from Ethiopian beans. (Hotbox Coffee, which also collaborated with Oskar Blues on a coffee porter last year, conveniently roasts beans at Oskar Blues’ facility in Longmont, Colo.)
Imagine drinking a carbonated, citrus-and-cherry-forward cold brew coffee with a soft, lingering bitterness at the end. The gold-colored Hotbox plays up the fruity notes of the coffee, including dark berry aromas and cherry and coffee flavors, while never letting you forget that you’re sipping an IPA with citrusy hops and a resiny, bitter finish.
I’d seriously consider waking up with a glass of this, though at 7.2 percent alcohol by volume, I’d save it for a day when I didn’t have to rush to work.
Oskar Blues Hotbox Coffee IPA. oskarblues.com. About $11 per four-pack of 12-ounce cans.