Regular Coffee | Carton Brewing Company

89 Reviews
Regular CoffeeRegular Coffee

Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Classic Jersey-ism is "regular coffee." Here when you oder a "regular coffee" at any place you trust to make a pork roll and cheese you get a paper cup of coffee with "milk and 2 sugars" rather than a "black coffee that hasn't had the caffeine removed." Acidic bitter coffee flattened by milk and sweetened; the perfect foil for the salty unctuous savor of breakfast on a roll. For our homage to Jersey's breakfast beverage, we teamed up with our neighbors at Fair Mountain Coffee Roasters looking for an elevated version of classic crappy coffee. We chose Mexican Chiapas for its bitterness akin to artichoke, roasting it a little darker than usual, along with Ethiopian Sidamo for its pleasant lemon-like acidity, which we pushed up through fermentation. We added this coffee blend to a high gravity golden cream ale, contributing our "milk and 2 sugars." Drink Regular Coffee because running over a black beer with coffee is no way to get to work.

Added by mikeburd1128 on 12-13-2013

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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 593
Photo of ShoreGoodBeer
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a creamy tan with an immediate punch of coffee and milk sugar on the nose. Tasted sweet with plenty of coffee to it but also left a nice alcohol burn at the end. Slightly acidic, almost like old coffee with an astringency to it.

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Photo of Gambyt20
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow a cream ale with super pungent coffee notes to it. so different from all available stouts and ported infused with coffee, this simple stands out that it a cream with all the complexities from a coffee stout, simple awesome

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Photo of mmorris15
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light brown, with little head. The smell is amazing, just like a sweetened cup of joe. I smell coffee, lactose, and a dark fruit sweetness. Taste is pleasant coffee, cream, and sugar. Very little bitterness. Feel is very smooth and just slightly acidic. Overall, they did what they set out to do and it's a delicious result. I am glad I got to try it and can't wait to try the variants too.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

FINALLY scored a 4-pack via trade! Canned 12/22/16. Poured into Guinness stout glass. Per instruction on bottom of can, let warm to 46 degrees (figured about an hour would do it).

L: 2F head with good retention, fairly good lacing, leaving a cap and ring. Beer is a clear light copper. Looks good.

S: Lots of lactose, some sweetness and sweet malts. Not picking up coffee.

T: Again, lots of sweetness here. Lactose, sugar, and then the coffee kind of comes in as it warms. ABV very well disguised.

F: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Finish draws out as ABV acts lower than it is and certainly drinks quicker than would be indicated. Good construction and balance.

O: This is a great cream ale, perhaps the best I've ever had. Just expected more coffee up front and I wonder if my own taste in coffee is playing into this and messing with me a bit.

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Photo of jpbrooklyn
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Stupendous! Stupid great! Canned 12/22/16, popped 1/5/17. Poured in a tulip to approximately a 1 1/2" head, eventually dissipated to a light broken foam lake. Look: imagine a red ale with a few drops of coffee mixed in. Nose is soooo coffee! I can even sniff out the sugar. Great nose on this. Then...the taste...creamy...slightly sweet...lactose...COFFEE...the alcohol is DANGEROUSLY hidden. 12%?!? Get the hell outta here! Mouth-taste seems closer to 7 or 8. This is almost too drinkable! The carbonation is light; I want to say I wish it was just a wee bit less, but that's me struggling to find any faults in this brew. The integration of flavors is faultless--it delivers exactly what it says it is. I'd drink this all year 'round. Carton, you are NJ's best brewer, and this is simply another feather in your cap. I seriously doubt I'll find another 4-pack tomorrow but I'm gonna try. You should too. Just about as perfect a beer in this style as one could ever be.

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Photo of agreenman19
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L - pours a maple syrupy looking caramel. Mostly transluscent with an extremely alcoholic-looking head. Glows a deep resonating orange, like the very last bit of sunset.

S - sweet sticky caramel. Faint candy orange syrup. Alcohol opens up the aroma a bit halfway through the sniff. Touch of lactose.

T - taste follows the nose with a sugary caramel mocha sweetness. Reminds me a bit of some Belgian beers that exhibit a deep underlying fruitiness. Milky cream, this is a total dessert beer. Coffee comes out more as it warms and brings spices of cinnamon and brown sugar with it. Really surprised at how little booze I'm picking up for 12%. This is way too smooth. Starting to feel a buzz already!

F - creamy and decadent. Low carbonation and a syrupy consistency jam the dessert appeal even further down my throat.

O - a unique beer that delivers what it promises. I had no idea what a "regular coffee" was until today, but now I understand. The coffee flavor isn't as prominent as I'd like, but it certainly has the milk and 2 sugars!

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Photo of avas
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours clear with a medium amber color. About a half finger of soapy/fluffy bright white head sticks around for a while. Significant lacing, and clear alcohol legs on the glass.

Aroma is tons of lightly roasted coffee, caramel, honey, and some mysterious lactose-y creaminess that totally lives up to the namesake. Taste follows, with an almost blonde coffee flavor backed by an almost caramelized sugar/caramel note and some roasted nut (think: peanut) notes. Mouthfeel is extremely soft, yet well carbonated. It's neither oily nor syrupy, but it truly does drink like Regular Coffee, with matching it's creaminess and sweetness.

Overall, this is a super interesting beer that absolutely nails the concept around which it was created. A delicious dessert treat for sure.

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Photo of woemad
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can received through the generosity of SammyJaxxx. According to the stamp on the bottom of the can, this was canned on January 14, 2016. Reading the info on the can, apparently regular coffee means the same thing in New Jersey that it means in Massachusetts, at least according to my brother’s wife and in-laws.

Poured into a Selkirk Abbey pint glass, this was a dark amber color, with a fairly rough pour yielding the slightest of off-white heads. What little head there was didn’t stick around long. I was initially dismayed, then noted the abv percentage (pretty sure I blurted out a fervent “HOLY SHIT!”), and it made sense.

Initially, the nose was an unimpressive, fruity maltiness. As it warmed, things quickly became more complex. The coffee notes are there, but very restrained, along with a sweet, sugary aroma not unlike something I’ve encountered in the best examples of Belgian Quads, but without the other aspects of the latter style. It also reminds me a bit like flavored coffee creamer, but dialed back.

The taste started out like coffee with a liberal amount of cream put into it. Midway through, things got a little bit boozy, but I was surprised how restrained the booze was considering 12 freaking percent alcohol. I also picked up some grassy hop notes that are more for contrast than anything else, they certainly can’t catch up to what else is happening in this beer. As it warms, the alcohol does become more prominent.

The body is at the higher end of medium, with a moderately creamy mouthfeel. I actually thought the carbonation could be a little higher, but it’s not low to a degree where it’s a problem.

Holy crap! I was expecting something similar to Sixpoint’s C.R.E.A.M. I initially thought this was just a cream ale with sugary coffee, and noted the can said it was an “Imperial Cream Ale” only after I cracked it open, and totally didn’t pick up on how freaking “Imperial” this beer was at first. Truly an original creation. Now that I realize what the hell it is, I think I’d drink it more as a nightcap than a late morning beer. Yes, I would love to try this again, and check out some of the variants I see on BA. Big shout out to SammyJaxxx for this!

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Photo of 57md
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a straw color with less than a half finger of head. The nose has notes of sweet cream.

This offering tastes exactly as advertised - coffee with cream, sugar and a touch of hops.

I generally like my coffee black and bitter and my coffee beer similar but this is a tasty "imperial" cream ale.

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Photo of Slack
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber in color and a bit cloudy with little carbonation and no lacing.

Aroma is straight black coffee mixed, woody and oak notes, and sweet malt.

Taste is sweet malt up front mixed with that oaky note in the middle, along with vanilla and a coffee finish.

Mouthful is medium and smooth with a bit of cloying sweetness that follows throughout and with the finish. Carbonation is about medium as well.

Very drinkable with a hidden booze element. Flavor profile is great and is definitely reminiscient of black coffee. Seek this out!

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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks @SammyJaxxxx
Best Carton I've had to date. And that IS saying something.
Ruby to gold on th epour. Tight white head finger or so high. Smells subtly sweet at first and then a slow, gentle coffee comes through. Intriguing. Then the first sip seals the deal. It's a cream ale so the texture hugs my tongue, sweet creamy feel-taste. It hards to tell where the texture ends and the flavor begins. It all melds together in a sublime waltz. Then the coffee comes in. The coffee is not weak, but it is graceful in its complete presence. The flavors sway back and forth. It is a beer experience to cherish. I want this again. Kegs to California? I'm just sayin'.

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Photo of swanfungus
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From can to tulip glass. Hazy amber/copper color with a sugary coffee aroma. Fantastic cream flavor with loads of coffee and just a hint of alcohol astringency at the finish. Looking forward to trying the variants.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from can into pint glass-
Rich, ruby orange color with very nice carbonation leading to a rich creamy head! Coffee, hint of vanilla and malts are apparent- (anticipating the first sip). Coffee followed by moderate acidic (not expected for a cream ale) taste. Seemed somewhat flat for a 12ABV, but enjoyable none the less.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - Murky dark orange. Less than half a finger of head which went away quickly leaving no lacing.

S - Coffee (duh), bur incredibly rich and roasty. Hints of wood and nutty.

T - Smoke and coffee with sugary cream and vanilla with even milk chocolate and cocoa.

F - A little flat, but not watery. Doesn't feel like a massive 12% beer. Drinks incredibly easy (almost dangerous)

O - Not your typical coffee beer. Adding coffee to a cream ale might have seemed like a way to liven up a boring style, but this is unique. Coffee and dessert-like flavors play off each other beautifully and drinkability is through the roof. The dark-tasting/light-colored beer is the popular thing now, but Carton pulled off an incredible one.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - A copper type color. Not hazed but not completely clear either.
Smell - coffee, sweet malts, hints of vanilla
Taste - An absolute perfect balance between sweet cream and coffee flavors. Wow!
Feel - This is 12%?!?!? Wouldn't have guessed in a million years. Soooo easy drinking.

Overall - Cartons best tasting beer?!?

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Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra in a trade. Poured from a can into a Teku glass. Color mirrored that of a watery looking coffee or cream soda. Not much foam if any, though carbonated like that of a soda. Smelled and tasted much like my morning cup of Joe, which is pretty impressive considering it's beer. Glad I tried it and totally respect the uniqueness of it, but it's not a beer I'd want to drink on a regular basis. It's very sweet and boozy, serving as a rare dessert during a drinking session.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip glass. It pours a hazy orange-amber color with a relatively modest, snow-white head and minimal lacing. It smells strongly of roasted malt, coffee and sweet cream, with whiffs of vanilla and coconut. The taste is cream and vanilla forward, with a strong coffee flavor - not burnt as in the case of many porters and stouts - but like freshly-brewed coffee. There is a strong alcohol presence and it finishes slightly bitter. For a cream ale, it is very thick and creamy. It's mildly carbonated and masks its 12% ABV surprisingly well. Overall, this is a truly unique cream ale. Carton has nailed the coffee taste and it packs a punch. You don't have to be from Jersey to like ale!

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Photo of cmq103
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coffee aroma as soon as I cracked open the can. There was a two can limit at the Joe Canals in Lawrenceville NJ, and you had to specifically ask for it since it was kept in a back storage room. Silky smooth cold carbonated coffee is the taste. The high ABV is well hidden. A unique brew from Carton Brewing Company. This is a one and done sipper style due to the high ABV. If you like a super smooth sweet cream ale infused with coffee, this is a "must try".

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Photo of LordSMAF
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Whoa. This is the beer that all cream ales should aspire to be. If your mind goes to Gennessee or some other swill, it's time to try Regular Coffee. I've had other cream ales from great breweries, and I'm not really a fan...but this is operating on a different level.

Full-bodied, INCREDIBLY smooth for 12%. Great coffee aroma with the taste of sugar and cream. A nice sweetness that will probably prevent you from having more than 1 or 2 of these - and that's okay, 'cause anymore and you'd be floored.

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Photo of Doc9022
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Carton had an incredible ability to tell you exactly what your going to taste. This is best evidenced here with regular coffee. The sweetness and creamy flavors fill the mouth. But still allow for the malt character come through and had just the right bitterness you don't for get this is a coffee. It is what NJ is. Exactly what we say we are going to be. Drink it because it's good.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Cloverleaf Tavern in NJ.

Pours a somewhat hazy orange. Definite coffee in the nose, less in the taste. Bready malts, wheat, dough, and grains. Medium body and low carbonation, super easy to drink.

A very good cream ale with hints of coffee.

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Photo of Mikeypnj19
4.86/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I don't think this beer gets the credit it deseve's... truly one of a kind brew and it's amazing. Just the right amount of coffee flavor and it's extremely smooth for 12%.

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Photo of orangebison
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured 1/22/16, 12 oz can into a stemless hotel tumbler. Clear, orange-y amber in color. 1/8" head that quickly faded. Slightly slick, with minimal lacing. Aroma is of cold-brewed coffee, sweet malt, caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut. Lots of coffee in the flavor - rich, warm, moderately roast-y -as well as sweet, rich malt, almost starchy in character. Finishes clean and dry, with a slightly acidic, coffee-like finish. A little harshness, as well as some citrus character, emerge in the finish as it warms. Feel is thin and slick, like a much lower-gravity brew. This was much awaited - I felt lucky to get a four-pack - and a very nice way to spend part of an evening holed up in a hotel during the blizzard.

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Photo of krome
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice beer, a noble or interesting experiment. It's good and unique. But it doesn't blow your socks off. Everybody does not a coffee stout. These guys have tried a coffee cream ale. It works. The coffee is not overwhelming and fits well with the underlying beer.

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Photo of mancuso422
4.87/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not sure what the guy a few reviews below mine was talking about. Too much alcohol and too sweet is NOT a good description of this beer. It's the complete opposite. If you bought 2 four packs and don't like it, then give me the other seven beers please. This goes down so smooth and it's shocking that its 12% ABV. Dangerous I tell you. The coffee is right there but doesn't overwhelm. It's pretty frickin awesome. No doubt get your hands on this. It's a winner.

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Regular Coffee from Carton Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 593 ratings.
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