Short's Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout (bottle)
Elk Rapids, MI
Like any other self-respecting Kalamazoo-based beer geek, I subscribe to Kalamabrew's RSS feed. And what did I find the other day but this, telling me about several new limited releases from Short's Brewing in Elk Rapids. Their Soft Parade is one of the best Fruit Beers I've tasted, and Huma-Lupa-Licious is a really fine floral IPA, so my appetite was immediately whetted.
Apparently mine were not the only ones. We got these beers in Thursday morning, and by noon we'd already gotten a few calls asking which ones we had. I didn't have the space to put out all the beers in the cooler, but I made sure each one had a spot on the single shelf and made sure the sixers were at least reachable, so I could pull them out upon request.
I bought one of each of the six beers we got yesterday, with the intention of trying as many as I could last night. But it turned out that Shana's AGES end-of-semester party was last night, and who am I to turn my nose up at a trip to Bell's. The bottled beer would wait a night.
So now my tentative plan is to try one beer a day for the next six days (eight, if we get in the last two that the distributor didn't have in stock this week) and review each one here. Tonight I tried the Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout, and holy shit is it well-balanced. Most coffee beers either go too far in the sweet direction or have too much bitterness, but this brew has an almost perfect balance of sweet and bitter, of malt, hops, and coffee, and really makes me jealous that Joe Short is only a year older than I am. It's a rich coffee-flavored stout with a nice roasted malt backbone, and has a residual sweetness that gives the drying aftertaste a nice balance. It's dangerously drinkable, and totally worth seeking out.
(Oh, and as of this moment it's listed at number 62 in the world on BA's Best of BA list. That'll probably change as the beer gets more reviews and the nay-sayers start piling on, but as of this moment I'm not going to say that the beer is obviously unsuited for that kind of placement.)
I'm going to have to get a sixer of this one. After I drink each of the other singles, unless it looks like the last of them are going to be gone before I get through the week of tasting.
My overall BA review: 4.5/5