For years brewers have been playing with the combination of coffee and beer, starting with the early coffee stouts and eventually making their way to more avant garde coffee lagers and even coffee IPAs. Coronado Brewing’s spin on the style is a playful imitation of a signature drink from San Diego-favorite Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. The coastal brewery notes it “starts with a smooth milk stout and adds Bird Rock’s Cafe Del Sol coffee blend, along with cinnamon and honey, for a refreshingly smooth twist on a traditional cold brew.”
Appearance and Aroma
Early Bird pours the color of dark roast drip coffee with a fluffy tan head that lingers. This generous foam gives way to robust aromas of dark chocolate, nutty caramel, and spice followed by a hint of vanilla.
Give me this beer paired with some pancakes and I’d be in heaven.”
If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was drinking a vanilla mocha. Early Bird is a blend of vanilla, French roasted coffee, and dark chocolate flavors wrapped in a silky sweet, yet subtly smooth mouthfeel. It’s a pick-me-up in beer form that ends with pleasant cinnamon and nut notes.
Coronado’s take on coffee beer stands out from an ever-growing crowd. The coffee is there, but it’s not overpowering, which is a common issue for the style. Give me this beer paired with some pancakes and I’d be in heaven. At 5.5% ABV, it’s also sessionable enough I can still make it back down to Earth quickly if the need arises.