Regular Coffee | Carton Brewing Company

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82 Reviews
Regular CoffeeRegular Coffee

Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States | website

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: 82 | Ratings: 565
Photo of woemad
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
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 +4.4%
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 +5.8%
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 +9.2%
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 +4.1%
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 +1.7%
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 +11.6%
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 +9.7%
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 +3.6%
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 +5.8%
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 +4.1%
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 +14%
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 +1.7%
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 +17.7%
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 -9.4%
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 -3.1%
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 +17.9%
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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Photo of CaysE
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

If you're from NJ, you will love this. If you're not, who knows? Carton somehow canned the nostalgia of being at a NJ diner as a hopeful 20-something with this beer. Look is a rich golden color, no cloudiness, with a quickly dissipating foam head. It smells like a coffee mug at the Suburban Diner in Paramus... I don't know how they did it, but they did. Taste is a surprisingly good cream ale with that just-right coffee flavor and a bit on the sweet side, as NJ coffees go. Everything about this beer leaves me wanting more, but I have to remind myself that it's a 12% heavy hitter that will sneak up on me.

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Photo of bobv
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly vigorous pour yields a 3/4 inch head. Initial nose yields an aroma of coffee which fades but comes back after a vigorous swirl. Gotta give 'em props for naming the beer for what it tastes like. Cream and 2 sugars!!! Mouthfeel is very nice as well! Wish I had another.

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Photo of estimatedprophethawk
2.08/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

12oz can poured into a 10oz snifter. Purchased from Carton, today. I've heard so much about this, I went out and bought 2 4packs.

Preface. I've never been a fan of Cream Ales, but occasionally, they hit the spot.

Color is a right on for a Cream Ale

Nose is of sugar and not much else

Taste. OMG its a Cream Ale loaded with alcohol! Where's the coffee? It's bitter for a Cream Ale, but no coffee. Halfway thru the can, I start picking up butterscotch, or Cream Soda. This stuff is WAY too sweet. If I wanted a soda laced with alcohol, I'd have gone to the bar and ordered a Cream Soda with grain alcohol. That's pretty much what this tastes like. Kudos for the butterscotch flavor.

Maybe if I age this for a few years it'll taste like beer. Dunno.

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Photo of FickleBeast
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into a Mad Elf snifter. Canned on 1/14/15 (yesterday!)

Pours a a vibrant orange color with just a thin ring of foam. Color is shockingly light for a coffee beer. Small bubbles slowly rise through the beer as if they are reluctant to reach the surface. Aroma is glorious - it smells just like coffee sweetened with cream and sugar.

First sip is amazingly sweet up front, with a lingering coffee flavor. No bitterness at all on the finish - very smooth. Alcohol is completely hidden, dangerously drinkable for 12% ABV.

Above all else, this beer is SWEET. I can see this getting cloying if the coffee flavor fades with time, but day-old this has a great balance of flavors. I've not had anything like this before, and it really works for me.

This beer is truly innovative and delicious to boot. I wish it was available year round.

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Photo of Jerseybeerlover609
4.98/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Well this is jersey coffee.. If your enjoy your coffee with cream and and sugar you'll love this.
This is better then an iced coffee the flavors are on point. I can drink this with my bagel and oatmeal.
If you don't drink coffee with cream then don't bother with it

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Photo of gibgink
4.86/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Heard really good things about this brew, so I traded for a can. Was a little concerned that the "can was old" by the time I got it, but very happy I gave it a shot! Pours out a medium golden hue with small white head. Smells like a creamy coffee. What really won me over is the taste. This is one of those few beers where the description on the can absolutely nails it. This tastes like a coffee I would drink, aka sweet. The cream ale goes so well with the coffee, and the sweetness of the malt acts like the sugar. This beer is supposedly 12%, but it simply does not seem that way to me.

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Photo of reds2harleys
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is one fine brew that caught me by surprise. I tried it only because I trust Carton - this is not normally a style I enjoy but this one is a winner. Fantastic flavor, one of the best coffee infused beers I've had - which is saying a lot. I normally prefer Stouts but damn this was tasty. Highly recommend. Another fin Jersey beer. Cheers

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Regular Coffee from Carton Brewing Company
4.13 out of 5 based on 565 ratings.
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