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The Best Cheese to Pair with Coffee Stout

Mornings once meant coffee, while evenings were earmarked for beer. Nowadays, brewers are blending the dawn and dusk drinks to create flavorful hybrids. The most commonly used base beer is stout, owing to its signature profile of chocolate and java; dark-roasted grains supply the flavor, scent, and inky tint. Brewers accentuate the aromatics by either adding coffee beans during brewing (which delivers a more intense flavor), or dosing already-fermented beer with coldbrew concentrate (which imparts a smoother, mellower taste). For pairings, you can travel in several tasty directions: A more assertive coffee stout’s bitterness will balance a mild blue cheese’s richness, and coffee-rubbed or -infused cheeses naturally jive with java beers. Alternately, try Finland’s caramelized juustoleipä (often known as “bread cheese” stateside). Finns dunk it in coffee during breakfast; a caffeinated stout at brunch would be a fun twist on tradition. 

Modern Times Beer Black House 

The San Diego–born brewery, which runs a roastery division, infuses this silky-smooth oatmeal stout with a house blend of Ethiopian and Sumatran beans. Think: the beer form of chocolate-covered coffee beans.  

Try it with: Sartori Espresso BellaVitano  


Elysian Brewing Split Shot 

In a marriage forged in the Pacific Northwest, Portland’s Stumptown and Seattle’s Elysian collaborated on this espresso-packed stout that tastes, in the best possible sense, like a boozed-up latte.   

Try it with: Carr Valley Cheese Company Bread Cheese 


Kiuchi Brewery Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout 

The Japanese brewery adds espresso beans during boiling to impart a penetrating aroma that appeals to folks who favor a strong, midnight-dark jolt.  

Try it with: Gorgonzola Dolce PDO 


The Saint Louis Brewery Schlafly Coffee Stout 

St. Louis roastery Kaldi’s Coffee supplies the French roast beans that are used to create the cold-brew extract added to this semisweet stout packed with mocha complexity.  

Try it with: Beehive Cheese Barely Buzzed 


Tröegs Independent Brewing JavaHead Stout  

Typically, Tröegs uses its hopback device to impart IPAs with heady fragrances. For JavaHead, the Pennsylvania brewery fills the vessel with locally roasted coffee that delivers notes of nuts and cocoa. 

Try it with: Westfield Farm Hubbardston Blue 

Joshua M. Bernstein

Joshua M. Bernstein is the author of The Complete Beer Course (Sterling Epicure, $24.95). You can read more of his writing on his website: http://joshuambernstein.com/

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