Regular Coffee
Carton Brewing Company

Regular CoffeeRegular Coffee
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Cream Ale
Ranked #2
Ranked #1,245
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: 113 | Ratings: 656 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thebeers:
Photo of thebeers
thebeers from Pennsylvania

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.

Apr 14, 2018
More User Reviews:
Photo of woemad
woemad from Washington

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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!

May 08, 2016
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast from New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Jan 16, 2016
Photo of stakem
stakem from Pennsylvania

3.42/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a can class. The brew appears a slightly hazed golden color with a white cap that retains well.

The smell is sweet with a touch of cocoa and caramel malt. A faint touch of herbal hops. The coffee is very muted but evident across the back with some grassiness.

The taste is sweet and boozy with some contrasting herbal hops that lasts well into the finish. Like the nose, a very faint coffee inclusion that i really dont think id otherwise notice except im looking for it. Hint of mild cocoa aftertaste mixed with grass or something herbal/vegetative.

This is medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. I get the imperial cream ale and think the idea is cool but im not really getting the coffee other than a bit of vegetative aspect. I think the concept is cool and I really wanted to like this but I think its a rare miss from carton.

Mar 29, 2015
Photo of CaysE
CaysE from New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Jan 21, 2016
Photo of Beern1ck
Beern1ck from New York

4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I've drank NYC cart coffee for over 10 years. They obtain their coffee from the same supplier. They get their cups from the same supplier. They all make the coffee the same way barring special requests. 2 heaps of sugar, followed by coffee, and a good helping of whole milk. Enter Carton's regular coffee. They could have gone stout, the obvious path, but regular coffee is not dark. It is almost pale ale in color ;) the smell is of coffee, just like, you guessed it, regular coffee. The texture is identical to the creamy coffee I've been so familiar with. The taste is milky with coffee surrounding it, just like, you guessed it, regular coffee. There are dozens of beers I'd rather drink, but the mastery of craftsmanship, the vision so well executed, deserves all of the highest acclaims. I don't know how well people will enjoy this if they aren't regular cart coffee drinkers. But this is an incredible imitation of an actual cup of coffee. For you non-cartcoffee drinkers, try both side by side!

Jun 06, 2015
Photo of chadwicktorres
chadwicktorres from District of Columbia

2.96/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Really just average all around. I completely don't understand the hype on this one but more power to Carton for getting another beer on the map. Love Boat Beer dearly.

Jan 30, 2015
Photo of Liberatiscioli
Liberatiscioli from Pennsylvania

2.78/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Maybe I'm not a fan of the style. This was extremely sweet. Little to no coffee detected. Tasted more like milk and sugar.

Apr 30, 2015
Photo of macesq
macesq from District of Columbia

3.11/5  rDev -27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Golden yellow; a tad darker than the average cream ale, but with crisp clarity.

S: Food cart coffee; corny graininess; astringent alcohol presence.

T: Follows the nose. Unexpected (vis-a-vis the color) coffee punch up front, giving way to sweet creamed corn notes appropriate to the style. Alcohol is less prominent than on the nose, but a strong astringent kick lingers.

M: Slick, creamy, and full-bodied, with slight effervescence.

O: An unusual beer, and hard to score. Not much of a to-style cream ale; too strong, and (obviously) featuring a distinct flavor additive. But the corn-based sweetness and alcohol notes bring immediately to mind Genny cream ale. In the end, the flavors ultimately don't quite gel, with the unique sweet/coffee profile giving way to cheap, corny alcohol notes. Lower ABV might serve this brew well.

Feb 26, 2015
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce can poured into an oversized snifter.

This beer was one I'd wanted to try for some time. So I'm pretty happy to be doing this review.

The beer pours a bright golden/amber color with a lot of fizziness. A surprising amount of fizziness. This settles and forms a fizzy yet substantial head that sits a bit foamy before becoming a lacy layer over the body. Plenty of carbonation continues to surge in the glass as I observe it. 4.25

Pretty magical how they got this aroma. There's a chocolatey and roast-y coffee aroma, subtle but there enough to be noticed and enjoyed. Beyond this is a sweet element that suggests even a chocolate with gooey orange stuff inside. This really just smells like some sort of sweet treat. Delicious. 4.25

Not much of a departure from nose to palate, but in a good way. Still getting faint citrus notes (Citra hops maybe?) light coffee notes with some chocolatey qualities, and an immense sweetness like a soda. A cream soda even. The lingering coffee flavor is exceptional, imparting caramel, toffee and chocolate in a delightful blend. 4.25

I have to say there's a bit of heat to this beer at the finish, not in a solvent-y way, but it does make the back of your tongue and mouth tingle. It's pretty unique and takes some getting used to. That aside, this is deliciously creamy and deceptionally easy-drinking. Where the hell is the 12%? Are you lying to me Augie Carton? Nah but seriously, this think drinks so easily, I could see myself "mistakenly" downing a sixer and waking up...scratch that...never waking up. 4

I'm a sucker for a unique beer and this brew is certainly unique. In a good way. Quite enjoyable. Hell, more than enjoyable. Delectable in certain ways.

May 04, 2015
Photo of markgugs
markgugs from New Jersey

4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

If someone just handed you a glass of this, you would think it was a DIPA based on color and head, though there is minimal, if any, lacing. But one whiff and that classic coffee smell takes over, filling the nose, accompanied by a slight hint of sweetener and maybe some caramel. Wasn't expecting it to be as sweet as it is though, though maybe I just enjoy my "regular coffee" a bit more on the roasted side. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, stopping just short of cloying, but the carb levels are perfect. Can't believe this is 12% ABV though, drinks MUCH lower than that. Unsurprisingly short finish. Really good beer, would love to try on tap.

Jan 23, 2015
Photo of Thedrizzle
Thedrizzle from Florida

3.21/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Something was off to me.

Mar 16, 2015
Photo of gibgink
gibgink from Missouri

4.86/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Dec 18, 2015
Photo of macher0
macher0 from Kentucky

4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Kevincredible for the extra. Can to tulip.

A. Based on the name, not the color I was expecting. It pours a bright golden/copper color with an egg shell head. Head is fine bubble. Moderate to high carbonation.

S. Very aromatic with a very funky smell. It smells like a dank towel - not in a good ipa way.

T. There's that coffee. Very coffee forward but very creamy and sweet character, like it has cream and sugar. Well done. Damn this taste grows on you as you wish for another at the end. A hop bite at the end

M. Smooth, high carb, light body, moderate effervescence.

O. This is an interesting beer to say the least. I expected a dark ale with pseudo-coffee flavors. I got a beer that looks like an ipa, smells like a towel, and tastes like a creamy cup of coffee. Hey now, it works.

Jun 27, 2015
Photo of mancuso422
mancuso422 from New Jersey

4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Jan 22, 2016
Photo of HopzzzJunkie
HopzzzJunkie from Indiana

4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic!!! This beer has a great taste with a lighter color. Tastes amazing with a sweet after taste

Apr 18, 2015
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Apr 09, 2014
Photo of Hopsiam14
Hopsiam14 from Minnesota

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sep 08, 2015
Photo of njbeergeek01
njbeergeek01 from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jan 31, 2015
Photo of abcdefghijkyle
abcdefghijkyle from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Jun 22, 2014
Photo of shehateme
shehateme from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mar 15, 2015
Photo of erjaq
erjaq from California

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

May 05, 2016
Photo of jedk
jedk from New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Jan 31, 2015
Photo of BKBassist
BKBassist from New York

3/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is an odd bird. I almost can't review it as a beer, as it had no beer qualities outside of appearance. Blindfolded I would have thought I was drinking a chilled coffee soda. The appearance gave no hint of this, it looked like a standard amber/dark golden cream ale.

If you look at this as something of an experimental brew, it surely succeeds in tasting exactly like coffee soda.

If you want something with any of the qualities of a beer outside of appearance, this is the wrong choice for you.

I felt middle of the road ratings were the only appropriate thing to give this, as I feel it probably is doing what it set out to do, but that thing is so odd. I'd rather no longer talk about this beverage.

Feb 06, 2014
Photo of Nickfuentes

4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Feb 08, 2015
Regular Coffee from Carton Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 656 ratings