ABV: 5.8%, IBU: 26
Earth Rider is the latest brewery to set up shop in the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin. It’s also the first production brewery in Superior since the 1960s. Earth Rider grew from well-established brewing roots–from the ownership to the brewers themselves–and that talent shows through in all of their beers. Right now, in my opinion their best beer–and my number one beer anywhere–is the Coffee Pale Ale.
This beer defies my understanding of coffee beers in almost all senses; it pours amber in color and tastes unlike anything you’d expect. It still smells like a rich cup of coffee, and after the first up-front coffee taste, it finishes incredibly clean. It’s closest comparable beer would be Banshee Cutter from Indeed, but the Earth Rider Coffee Pale Ale mops the floor with it in terms of flavor.
Brewed with Duluth Coffee Company coffee, this is the latest entry the company has made into the beer market. The first–and, really, only other–entry is Bent Paddle’s Cold Press Black ale, which is on the other end of the spectrum in comparison to Earth Rider’s coffee beer. Duluth Coffee Company has built great partnerships with the local beer scene through these two coffee beers, but also have got their nitro Cold Press coffee into several tap rooms.
Remarkably, for a coffee beer, this beer doesn’t overpower any other beers you may wish to follow it up with. As previously mentioned, the clean finish allows you to have another pint of something else–say, the Helles–and not have the lingering flavor of coffee tainting your palate. You can also safely indulge in a few Coffee Pale Ales without fear of your mouth or tummy becoming upset from such a powerfully aromatic beer.
Earth Rider’s Coffee Pale Ale is on its second brewery iteration, as of the date of this post. This batch’s primary difference is that the coffee note is much more fragrant, but the flavor remains the same. The first batch of Coffee Pale Ale was very popular, and there was about a three-week lapse between the two brews. Pints of Coffee Pale Ale are 50 cents more than a regular pint, and crowlers are $1 more.