Brew Review: Refreshing the Coffee Ale Game — New Belgium Brewing

Using National Coffee Day as a springboard for its launch, New Belgium Brewing unveiled a new brand on Sunday, September 29 with a Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale in a partnership with High Brew Coffee.

“We’ve had the idea for a cold brew coffee Cream Ale for quite some time and were connected with High Brew through a mutual friend,” explained Clay Hoffman, Brand Manager at New Belgium. “We were really impressed by the product quality and loved the taste of their cold brew coffee. Our two companies were both born in the outdoors and share many of the same values as well, so we knew it would be a great fit.”

A Cream Ale infused with oats and High Brew’s cold brew coffee — this beer fives a smooth and creamy mouthfeel without being overpowering like some coffee-infused beers. And just for kicks, New Belgium canned the beer with nitrogen for an ultra velvety finish. A lighter profile helped in this process and was planned from the start by the innovation team.

“Most of the coffee beers out there are really heavy, cloyingly sweet, and not very refreshing – so our goal was to make something different,” Hoffman said. “We wanted the beer to be light and refreshing just like cold brew, so we picked a lighter base that would let the coffee really shine.

“The Cream Ale has a refreshing and clean finish, and paired with nitro really sets this beer apart from all of the other coffee beers we’ve seen.”

This isn’t the first coffee house and brewery team up for a large roll-out release. Dunkin Donuts and Harpoon have worked together on a Coffee Porter and a Coffee Pale Ale while the donut shop also made a Pumpkin Brown Ale in the past with Catawba Brewing. Many smaller coffee shops and breweries have teamed up as well.

Using National Coffee Day as a platform, the two brands share many of the same key markets and retailers, so Hoffman said there will be opportunities for cross-category displays in stores.

[It’s] exciting and pretty unique,” he said, adding that everything New Belgium is doing to market and support the beer is a joint effort so the resources go a lot further.

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