Regular Coffee
Carton Brewing Company

Regular CoffeeRegular Coffee
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Cream Ale
Ranked #2
Ranked #1,178
4.26 | pDev: 9.62%
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Regular CoffeeRegular Coffee
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 651 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of FBarber
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange color. Thin velvety off-white head dissipates pretty quickly leaving no residual head.

Aroma has notes of coffee, light creamy notes and a hint of sugary sweetness.

Taste follows the nose with notes of coffee, a light malty sweetness and a touch of cream. Definitely getting a bit of alcohol warmth on this - and that was the moment I realized it was 12%.

Feel is light, not exactly crisp, but its clean . Semi-dry finish.

Overall, this is a really unique take on the cream ale style in the ABV and use of coffee - but its delicious and is the first cream ale that Ive really liked. Definitely worth trying.

 635 characters

FBarber from Illinois, Apr 18, 2020
Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: slightly hazy gold, fat creamy head on the pour that mostly subsides.
Smell: sweetish coffee with hints of vanilla, honey. Unique, great nose on this one.
Taste: much like the nose, even crazier. Getting some chocolate and butterscotch in the mix.

 254 characters

Photo of WillNJ
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

nailed the regular coffee taste. great creamy mouthfeel, coffee taste isn't overpowering, slight alcohol warming, sweetness from lactose? great winter sipper

 159 characters

WillNJ from New Jersey, Feb 15, 2020
Photo of cjeep
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

it's very good, but not to the level of the other reviews
L: not overly attractive. clearish brown, sort of between apple juice & cider. weak head that dies quickly.
S: regular coffee.
T: ok, it's pretty good and it does taste very much like alcoholic regular coffee. a distinct bitterness from the coffee with sweetness from the cream ale. at first i'm a bit dubious on the taste but it grows on me with time. ok, i kind of like it. but the sweetness makes it tough to think about a 2nd one. given the abv, that may not be all bad.
F: smooth and rich.
ok, it's pretty good, although more than 1 may be a struggle.

 615 characters

cjeep from Pennsylvania, Feb 09, 2020
Photo of ovaltine
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Classic cream ale look, with a foamy white head sitting atop a golden body that is nearly clear. Coffee is front and center on the nose and the taste, but it’s the sweetness from the malts that elevates this.

Maybe the best coffee beer I’ve had. Yes, I typed that. And Carton is world class (as if that needs saying ).

 328 characters

ovaltine from Indiana, Sep 15, 2019
Photo of cbutova
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It is always a great thing when beers instantly sound really intriguing right from the description and Carton always nails that.

A- Mostly clear medium golden yellow pour from the can into a snifter with a two finger creamy white cap. The head has fairly good retention and sheets of lacing form right away and continue all down the glass.

S- Coffee, plain and straight up. A well rounded roast comes out covering the nutty to the cocoa spectrum. Fresh nutty coffee beans, cocoa powder, toffee, slight caramel and suggestions of vanilla sweets.

T- High ABV coffee with a moderate level of sweetness and slight malt hints. Nutty desserts and cocoa nibs with dark roast coffee beans, vanilla sweets, caramel, toffee, toast and booze. Simple flavor profile overall but it nails the idea.

MF- Light-medium bodied with a slickness from the ABV and a crisp, foamy texture with just a hint of frothy cream. Ends very warm with a coffee bitterness.

Regular coffee it is. A 12% cream ale with a ton of coffee flavor and a moderate sweetness. Somehow Carton makes it work, really well. Almost like a coffee liqueur.

 1,110 characters

cbutova from Massachusetts, May 13, 2019
Photo of Harrison8
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a medium-dark orange with glass transparency, and a finger of rocky, white foam on top. Head retention is good. Aroma is coffee, even when the nose is 12"+ from the lip of the glass. Aside from a mildly fleshy, fruity coffee, lactose and caramely, bready, toasty malts build out the rest of the aroma. It smells like a well-roasted, well-brewed cup of coffee with a splash of milk and hints of barley and grains. Flavor profile is medium-roast, full-bodied coffee with caramely, bready, toasty, nutty malts coming on stronger as the coffee fades. Coffee opens up with malts closing it out, forming a beautiful, dynamic yin-yang from start to finish. There is just a splash of lactose milk right at the conclusion. Alcohol heat is not discernible at the onset, but comes on a little stronger at the finish, especially as the beer warms. Mouth feel is smooth, but not quite 'still' thanks to a light effervescent graininess in the center. It has a medium-thick consistency. Overall, robust and dynamic without being over powering. Coffee is big here, which should be noted for those who dislike coffee. The blend works well here, forming a very coffee forward, dangerously drinkable 12% ABV cream ale.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz can.

 1,259 characters

Harrison8 from Missouri, Apr 24, 2019
Photo of SmashAdams
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I thoroughly enjoyed every sip of the 4-pack I had of this. It's a big beer but it's so nicely executed with perfect balance of flavors that the experience is fantastic. The coffee is fabulous, it smells and tastes sweet and delicious. The finish is long and lingering. This is a beer you sip and enjoy over a period of time. One of my favorites. yb

 349 characters

SmashAdams from New Jersey, Apr 09, 2019
Photo of ChipChaight
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can from City Swiggers on th UES.
Pours a murky brownish gold with creamy white head and good lacing, smells like coffee grounds, chocolate, caramel, toffee, taste is boozy sweetness, vanilla, coffee with a caramel/ toffee finish, this beer is full bodied and velvety smooth. A boozy coffee treat.

 297 characters

ChipChaight from New York, Mar 24, 2019
Photo of brentk56
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours honey colored with a two finger head of foam; decent stickage and lacing

Smell: Earthy coffee tones with sweetened cream tones

Taste: Grainy tones forward with the coffee aspect building; the sweetened tones of corn in the grist, caramel, vanilla and honey created the "regular coffee" impact; a bit boozy in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat creamy; moderate carbonation

Overall: A bit gimmicky and the gimmick works; fun to try once but not something I would seek out on a regular basis as it has a bit of a malt liquor taste to me

 578 characters

brentk56 from North Carolina, Mar 01, 2019
Photo of seedyone
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From can 02/15/19 at home. This has jumped into my top 5. Haven't had a cream ale in years & this has me wondering why. It hits all the right spots without over doing any one. Flavorful, refreshing & kick-ass.

I read somewhere the idea was to create a brew with the features of what in NJ is a "regular coffee" (read w/milk & sugar).

Give it a 12% kick & I'm all in. Probably keep it in the PM hours, but the temptation for earlier is strong.

I see there's a variety with cinnamon & vanilla as well called the' churro'. Got to get out the pith helmet & open up new territory.

 581 characters

seedyone from New York, Feb 16, 2019
Photo of Blackop555
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours orange. Foamy, medium white head that is short lived.

Smells coffee, grainy, light vanilla, bready and lightly roasted

Tastes sweet coffee, grainy, vanilla, bready and hint of marshmallow. Finish is sweet with coffee, grain and light alcohol linger. Lighter body and smooth lower carbonation.

 300 characters

Blackop555 from Michigan, Sep 02, 2018
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from MacMalt. 12 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 12/29/2017. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep golden amber color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big nutty medium roast coffee, honey, vanilla, cream, cracker, corn, white bread dough, and biscuit; with light notes of lemon, orange, dark fruit, milk chocolate, cocoa, pepper, and herbal/grassy/roasted earthiness. Touch of booze in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of coffee, lactose, vanilla, pale malt/grain, and light earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big nutty medium roast coffee, honey, vanilla, cream, cracker, corn, white bread dough, and biscuit; with light notes of lemon, orange, dark fruit, milk chocolate, cocoa, pepper, and herbal/grassy/roasted earthiness. Light herbal/grassy/spicy hop and roasted coffee bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of nutty coffee, honey, vanilla, cream, cracker, corn, white bread dough, biscuit, light citrus/cocoa, pepper, and herbal/grassy/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of coffee, lactose, vanilla, pale malt/grain, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering hop/roast bitterness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very creamy/silky/bready, and lightly slick/sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Lightly increasing warmth of 12%, with mild booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial flavored cream ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of coffee, lactose, vanilla, pale malt/grain, and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV. Really unique, never had anything quite like it; though I have had plenty of coffee blondes. This just turns it up to 11. Great balanced complexity of fruity/nutty coffee, lactose, vanilla, and pale malt/grains. Not overly sweet for the ABV, solid hop balance. A very enjoyable offering.

 2,271 characters

superspak from Michigan, Apr 21, 2018
Photo of thebeers
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed dark orange-gold with a finger of dense off-white head. Solid lacing.

Big cream ale aroma -- corn, lager yeast -- with hints of chocolate, vanilla taffy and creamed coffee behind.

Sweet tasting. Corn tortillas, vanilla taffy, mint, chocolate, light coffee with copious amounts of milk and sugar. Very nice aftertaste.

Medium bodied, a little slick, with just enough carbonation.

I drink my coffee black, but despite the sweetness, this is still pretty tasty.

 471 characters

thebeers from Pennsylvania, Apr 14, 2018
Photo of JBowenGeorgia
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a slightly hazy amber orange with minimal white head. I had to read the can again to make sure I had poured a Regular Coffee, guess I was expecting a stout but after reading I see it's a cream ale.
Smells like a cup of coffee with cream.
Taste is like a cup of coffee with cream. Not a dark roasted coffee nor a mild one, getting some toffee like flavor too.
Feels like a creamy cup of coffee, very smooth. Can't believe this is a high gravity beer, alcohol presence is non-existant. 
Overall a great brew that I would love to try again.

 553 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4



Carton Coffee Cream Ale tasting.

Impressed overall at all 5 of these beers; didn't eralize they were 12%. The ABV is well masked.

#1 St. Kitts Coffee
Awesome Cocnut Flavor. Rum is sweet and smooth. Awesome beer. Heavy and light at the same time.
#2 Regukar Coffee
The standard. Coffee and lactose are a natural match in this. Very SMooth. This one also feels fuller than the others.
#3 Irish Coffee
Surprise here. Minty and spicy. The mint actually works pretty well in this unlike many other mint beer disasters I've had. Nutmeg is also apparent and gives a kick to the coffe flavors.
#4 Kaffee und Kuchen
Cherry is a downer, but the almond keeps it at bay.
#5 Cafe Y Churro
Disappointed in this since it was rated so high. Felt like it needs mroe of the vanilla and cinnamon.

Overall these were a great experience. Would love to get some of the St. Kitts in the summer.


 907 characters

q33jeff from New Jersey, Feb 24, 2018
Photo of Wiffler27
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice gold amber with a thick head, looks pretty nice

smell is pure coffee, tons of nice coffee notes with some vanilla. really nice

flavor is tons of coffee yet is sweet with some nice bitterness and vanilla. a lot of flavor to this and it's also easy to drink.

at 12% this is insanely easy to drink. damn good session beer, i can't stop sipping it even though i need to stop. a dangerous beer because of it's size and drinkability.

would get this again, easy.

 472 characters

Wiffler27 from New Jersey, Feb 01, 2018
Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

5 on the SRM color index. Smells somewhat benign.,mild fresh dough,lemongrass,not picking up much coffee in the smell. I was born and raised in NJ and this pretty much nails it for Reg coffee as far as taste goes. It is spot on. Feels creamy and smooth, similar to Genesee in that regard.I Have been waiting years to get my hand on this and I am not disappointed. I ordered a Regular coffee in South Carolina and the person looked at me like I was nuts. Carton rarely disappoints.

 480 characters

Claude-Irishman from New Jersey, Jan 14, 2018
Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep golden yellow with rich head and sticky lacing. Smells of coffee, sweetness like vanilla. The taste is fantastic, a nice coffee bite with a mellow sweet feel, they did give you that coffee with cream and sugar feel because you get the bite then the sweetness, very well done and rich flavors, outstanding coffee beer and very easy to drink any time of the year.

 374 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Few flavors come together as seamless as coffee and cream. And the beer that boasts this marriage has its New Jersey finger prints all over it. The brewers at Carton Brewing conjure up an all-American cream ale but heighten its stature to imperial strength; a strength that's needed to contend with the earthy, citrusy and bitter coffee blend in tow.

Bright golden and topped with a creamy espresso swirl, the beer's mild mannered appearance is soon dashed by the scent of boldly roasted coffee. Its earthy, nutty, chocolate character is a clear juxtaposition to the floral and candied scented cream ale beneath. Sweetness ensues in taste as the cereal grain of corn aligns with caramel, vanilla and honey on the tongue.

As the ale swirls on the middle palate, the flavors of cream ale and coffee come together for a sweet cream and rich java melange. Aspects of the soil-like character of Ethiopian blends and their citrusy counterpart come along side of the vegetal bitterness of Mexican beans all add to an earthy, robust and spicy java character that rests upon a persistent base of grain sweetness and heavy whipping cream.

Light in bitterness, the ale allows the coffee to provide balance even as the ale remains stubbornly creamy, lightly marshmallowy and trails with the sweetness of circus peanut candy. A sweet coffee linger supplies a long aftertaste of the type of coffee that adults would make for children.

 1,423 characters

BEERchitect from Kentucky, Jun 02, 2017
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drove down to Carton when this was released along with the Irregular Coffee and got to the last of tonight. The bottom of the can had a date of 12/22 with "Start @46F" written above it and even after all of this time, this beer's still a winner in my book! The alcohol was extremely well hidden and the coffee shone through beautifully, making this nearly as good as it's regular morning counterpart!

The pour to this was good as the beer had an apricot hue, plenty of head, and left behind a solid ring of lacing along the top of my glass. Tons of fresh coffee and cream in the nose with lactose sweetness to back it up in the taste. Did I mention that there's cream in this? There was a ton and boy, did it taste great! It meshed so well with the coffee but there wasn't the burnt, bitter, roasted Starbucks-like taste that I was expecting. Just smooth, sweet beer with minimal cloying and carbonation. A hint of cocoa powder rounded things off but this never full or watered-down as this beer had a near-perfect body to it.

By the time I finished off the last two cans, I could feel the booze set it. It may be the most deceptive of any beer I've EVER had as this felt like a session brew and not something as potent as a Russian Imperial Stout. Easily one of New Jersey's best beers and worth the hour-long ride down to Atlantic Highlands - just need my pork roll to go with this on the side!

 1,398 characters

JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey, May 25, 2017
Photo of y2kawakami
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a clear, dark tan with one finger of white head

S: Smells like a mix between coffee and sweet candy

T: Starts off sweet like a cream soda almost. Then, the coffee kicks in and gives a nice bold flavor. It is very smooth and you wouldn't know its a 12% beer

F: Light carbonation, goes down very easy

O: Fantastic beer. You wouldn't know by its appearance how complex the flavors are. I love the combination of sweet and coffee in this beer.

 452 characters

Photo of ShoreGoodBeer
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 237 characters

ShoreGoodBeer from New Jersey, Feb 01, 2017
Photo of Gambyt20
4.43/5  rDev +4%
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

 226 characters

Gambyt20 from Illinois, Jan 28, 2017
Photo of mmorris15
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

 398 characters

Regular Coffee from Carton Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 651 ratings