I’ve been slacking on the writing about beer. I’ve moved twice in the past 8 months and have been caught up in work, life etc. However, I have not been slacking on the drinking of beer and this is most important. One of the best beers I’ve had lately is this gem from Carton Brewing.
Regular Coffee is an Imperial Cream Ale coming in at 12% ABV with 20 IBU. It’s a small batch from Carton and the original in their coffee offerings. As much as I love all the hoppy big beers that Carton does, their coffee beers are among my favorites. They are also responsible for me giving creme ales a second chance after being turned off by a few not so great ones I’ve had.
I don’t know if it’s just a New Jersey thing, but around these parts, when you order a regular coffee, it means it has milk and 2 sugars. Carton took that idea and with some help via coffee from Fair Mountain Coffee Roasters turned it into an amazing beer that is most definitely worth the hype. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a growler of it via the boyfriend’s BFF (thanks Nicky & Chris) and popped it open over the weekend.
Since it was a Sunday and Sunday’s are meant for day loading, we had our first pour for breakfast. It is coffee after all. This does not look like your typical coffee beer, it’s a beautiful coppery color. Immediately you can smell the coffee and the lactose and lastly the sugar of a “regular coffee”. The first sip is a flavor explosion and you can instantly tell that they hit the nail on the head with this one. You taste coffee, sugary caramel and sweet cream. The mouthfeel is crazy, it’s creamy and lightly carbonated. The 12% is well hidden as you don’t get that burn, just an intense warming. This could be dangerous.
Flash forward to after dinner and craving something sweet, we busted out the growler again and this brilliant chocolate toffee nutty bark thing that my boss made for Christmas. It was the perfect pairing and the perfect night cap and snack. Coffee and chocolate are pretty much meant for each other. So basically this beer is great for breakfast, dessert and anything in between. It may be difficult, but if you can get your hands on this, you must. It’s worth every penny.
Find out more about this and other tasty Carton offerings at Cartonbrewing.com or go visit them at 6 E. Washington Ave in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. Tours are free and tastings are $5 and include a 4 oz pour of Boat Beer and 5 cool poker chips that you turn in for samples of their other beer. You’ll be tempted to take home a chip, but don’t do it, you’ll want all the beer you can get.