Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout) | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
437 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout)Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout)

Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This unique stout combines the flavor of roasted malts and Milwaukee's renowned Fuel Cafe coffee. Pours a deep, dark color with a beautiful creamy tan head.

Coffee aromas dominate the nose, with a background of roasted grain. The fine balance of mild hops, the gentle acidity of choice coffee and the full mouth feel from roasted malt barley make this an unforgettable brew.

Added by Winter on 02-26-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 437 | Ratings: 1,002
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Cola body, light tan fine head with some dots of lace. Looks a bit thin, but w/e. Nose is incredible- plenty of vibrant freshly ground coffee beans, supported by rich dairy caramel, like a flan dessert, a bit of dark chocolate, and a touch of roasted malt. Flavor also brings a lot of coffee, with a good amount of acidity, supported by dark malts. Mildly sweet, but the acidity and solid bitterness more than distract from that. The body is thin and leaves a lot to be desired for a stout, but I suppose it's not too far off from actually coffee (except for the moderate carbonation).
Not sure why the rating here is so bad, this brought out the essence of coffee very nicely. I feel like I just had a fresh cup of Joe, caffeine and all. Aroma and flavor had just enough beer components to remind me of what it actually was, and apart from the body this was a great Saturday morning treat, Cheers!

 898 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.32/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

When you want some punk ass chili and attitude, you hit up the fuel cafe in Milwaukee. Riverwest if I recall correctly. The beer itself is dark brown rather than black. Small thin head. Aroma isn't as nice or pungent as the fuel coffee itself. That stuff is turbo.

Taste definitely yield heavy malt roasting and some coffee notes. Priced well, toffee mouthfeel is a little different. I think a sturdier base might support bringing out more of the coffee instead of the heavy roast.

 491 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.16/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored, somewhat long-lasting head. Not a lot of lacing, though.

S: A very average aroma of coffee, chocolate, malt, and some vanilla.

T: Tasted of a hint of vanilla, a fair amount of coffee, a little bit of roasted malt, an off-putting chalky quality (especially evident in the finish), and a slight burnt quality. One of the problems with the flavor is that the advertised coffee isn't as prevalent as it should be; its chocolate content is more potent. On the whole it's a pretty thin flavor.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While this beer isn't as bad as the average score suggests, it's still an underwhelming brew. Could have been better.

 804 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A: [3.75] Beer looks dark but with red hues on the edges when held tot he light. The head is a khaki color and has medium bubbles. The bottle lists the ABV (6.4%) and there is a really clear best by date (08/23/2016).

S: [3.75] Really pleasant coffee scent. Dark brew but not overpowering.

T: [3.50] The taste is dark roasted malts, coffee and toasted marshmallow. There is a slight hoppiness at the end and a dry burnt finish.

M: [2.75] The beer is watery. It is too thin for this style and seems over carbonated.

O: [3.25] The body is the biggest ding on this beer. It is a decent brew as it looks, smells and tastes good - but there are a lot of other options that have more heft in the body. 6.4% is not a high ABV but it is enough to produce additional body.

 776 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear extremely dark brown approaching black in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and moderate cola brown + garnet red highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy tan head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts with slightly stronger than moderate aromas of freshly brewed coffee.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of roasted malt and chocolate malts with a light hint of sweetness. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of freshly brewed coffee. Light to moderate amounts of roasty bitterness which lingers for a short while.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Thin/slightly watery.

O: Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol and enjoyable flavors/aromas but way too thin in the mouthfeel in my opinion.

 1,037 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz

Pours jet black, tan head is a quarter inch thick and firm, dissipates to a film.

Smells of dark chocolate, coffee beans, licorice, and vanilla.

Flavor is of toasted bread, charcoal, brown sugar, vanilla, and roasted coffee. Mild oakey finish.

Medium body with stinging carbonation on the tongue.

Decent stout, pours beautifully and smells delicious. Flavor is a bit bland and flat. Good body. Overall pleasing to drink and worth trying.

 458 characters

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.97/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark body, opaque except a subtle light on the edge, light off white head, some lacing.

S - Mostly ash. Harsh acidity. If it tasted like this, I'd be seriously disappointed.

T - But it doesn't follow the nose. The flavor is full of roasted malt, toast and cocoa nib, and all kinds of coffee, with espresso beans and dark roast forward, and a back end hitting the acidity of standard American brews. A mild sweetness in the middle keeps things from tipping to bitterness along.

M - Despite the acidity and bitterness, this is moderately bodied and pleasant as a drinker.

O - A solid coffee forward stout with a lot of coffee without getting too sharp. I like it.

 674 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
3.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes taken 05/03/16:

Fairly opaque and extremely dark brown. Foamy even light brown head of great retention. Interesting melted pepper cheese aroma, works well booze heat and general roastiness. Not what I would call on off-aroma. It isn’t terribly strong and is therefore pleasant. After settling, overall smell is like dark, sweet bread. Milk chocolate, caramelized fruit or vegetable, medium roast coffee, toasted rye bread, smoke tartness, spicy and soily hops, warm booze. A lot going on here but none of it really gets me. Definitely tastes more like a coffee stout but almost seems like a chili beer, not sure what is up with that. Medium-bodied, oily, finer carbonation throughout, sometimes prickly, sometimes velvety.

 736 characters

Photo of JimNeedsBrew
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I do drink coffee stouts but I have to say this one really lets the coffee flavor through. Pours dark, didn't notice any head, a little carbonation. Delicious roasted coffee with dark bitter chocolate, sightly creamy, with a bitter finish. Letting it warm up a bit does seem to temper the bitterness. Oh, and its USDA Organic!

 330 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
3.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with small tan head the disappears quickly and leaves no lacing.
Smell you get a coffee smell slight nutty malt smell I get a hint of peanut butter but that may be me I smelled throughout the glass.
Taste is good strong coffee flavor little hint of oak little bitter on the back end.
Feel not a heavy beer does not leave an aftertaste.
Overall I like this beer it is a decent stout at only 6.4% I can drink it up and it is not heavy that it fills me up, this is not a beer I would drink when I want one and something substantial but if I want 3 or 4 stouts I would drink this

 594 characters

Photo of Timothy_Scott_Goeft
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Looks black with small tan head that doesnt last smells just like coffee, taste alot like coffee with a slight dark chocolate bitter finish.the feel is medium body slight carbonation.
This is a good breakfast beer, i would recommend this to any coffee lovers

 258 characters

Photo of detgfrsh
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated during the second week of January 2015. Not terribly fresh, but oh well. Pours jet black with a half finger tan head. Looks nice! Smells of roasted malt. Mouthfeel is a little thin with a bitter coffee/chocolate aftertaste.

 236 characters

Photo of JackieKu
3.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap.

A: Opaque black. One finger high of head and moderate retention.
S: Coconut. Moderate roasted aroma.
T: Coffee. Mildly woody. A touch of sweetness. Moderate bitterness. Slightly butter. Dry finish.
M: Medium high bodied.
O: Decent stout.

 246 characters

Photo of Evilyak
3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

i think folks are being a little hard on this one, or perhaps some older reviews are like boat anchors.

it's nothing spectacular. it's good enough for what it is.

pours black with a thick, tan head. a little wet lacing.

smells of decent coffee - a little acidic perhaps, but nothing remarkably biting. i'd be curious to see what the beans are that they used here. if you're expecting a french roast, this isn't it, but i wonder if an ethiopian bean wouldn't lend some brightness without the bitter.

flavor is coffee and a touch of roasted sweet.

mouthfeel is coffee without cream. it's a little thin.

overall, i think i could get used to this one. again, i think the reviews were perhaps expecting something dark and biting, but that's not always representative of good coffee.

 786 characters

Photo of barczar
3.84/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is dominated by roast coffee grounds, with a touch of chocolate malt.

Flavor is similar, big coffee presence, with a robust roast malt backbone and a modestly bitter, charred finish. Hints of chocolate longer in the aftertaste. I don't know why ratings are so low. There's a touch of an acrid character, but that's not uncommon. A bit thin.

 347 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a snifter from draught at Firkin September 9, 2015. Look is deep dark brown, creamy tan head and some lingering lacing. Smell is coffee and dark roasted malts. Taste is coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt. Feel is medium in body with and somewhat bitter coffee finish.

 286 characters

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 11/12/2015. Pours fairly clear dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, light nuttiness, light herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and coffee notes; with solid strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, light nuttiness, light herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice robustness, compelxity, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and coffee flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice coffee porter. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and coffee flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. It is labeled as a stout, but the malt profile feels much more like a porter; but still a nicely enjoyable offering as it is.

 1,579 characters

Photo of pat61
4.23/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: A pitch black column supports a ½” tan foam cap that quickly collapses. Produces thin lace.
S: Coffee and roast malt.
T: Luscious and rich with coffee flavors from both the roast malt and the added coffee, traces of chocolate. Nothing harsh or burnt.
F: Creamy smooth, soft palate, full body and medium carbonation.
O: A very drinkable coffee stout that is better than its ratings.

 392 characters

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.72/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a Lakefront mixed 12-pack. The best by date on this one suggests it's good for over two months. Poured at about 50 degrees into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

L: Pours a deep coffee black with about three fingers of billowy khaki head that sticks around for a long time and leaves a thick film and nice lacing on the glass.

S: Roasted and toasty malts are the center of the bouquet, and there are nice coffee notes that play above this. There are some nutty notes, as well as vanilla, in the mix.

T: There are roasted and toasty malt flavors right up front. The coffee flavors comes along in the middle, accompanied by an acidic sensation, which doesn't exactly register as bitter--there's a kind of brightness to the taste. There's a bit of vanilla and nutty notes in the middle. The back end has the coffee taking over a bit more, this time registering in the aftertaste as overtly bitter. There are also plenty of those darker malts coming through.

F: This is where this beer lets me down. It has a medium body, but it's definitely on the watery side. It's a little difficult for me to get past this watered-down quality in a stout. It also drinks a little flat, owing to a low level of carbonation.

O: I really enjoy the flavors that this beer brings: it has a nice malt profile and coffee notes. However, it definitely leaves some things to be desired when it comes to body. I suppose it's the kind of stout you could enjoy on a hot summer day, but I'm not usually looking for that in this style.

 1,513 characters

Photo of ANiklaus
4.21/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm not typically a stout guy but I'm a big fan of coffee so this beer with its strong coffee flavor appeals to me. It's a solid beer all around and should be enjoyed by stout fans who like strong coffee flavors in their beer.

 226 characters

Photo of ajchocholousek
3.04/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle into Belgian snifter

Pours opaque black with the tiniest hint of ruby at the edge. 1.5 finger head that dissipated rather quickly, leaving some soapy, yet slightly leggy lacing. Strong roasty coffee on the nose with a tiny hint of cacao and a touch of vanilla. Light to light-medium mouthfeel that feels a bit watery for the style. Taste comes through a bit underwhelming. Looking for more of the coffee that I got on the nose here. Slightly over-carbed. Perhaps that's where the taste floats away. I get some watery too-darkly-roasted coffee with a tiny bit of dark chocolate bitterness and some misplaced lightly fruity esters. Hmm...a bit dissapointed with this overall. Just not a lot going on here. A little drier than I'd like in a coffee stout, and it's missing rich malt character beyond its touch of roast.

 829 characters

Photo of LloydDobler
3.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Ommegang tulip.

Hefty pour left only a 1'', quickly dissipating, collar of foam. It looked pretty thin too. Opaque, almost a dark autumn amber. When I returned to my seat I realized that I could smell the deep roasted malt and quality coffee from 3 feet away! Very inviting! The taste wasn't what I would expect from the style, almost espresso like. If coffe is your style, then this is your beer. The mouthfeel was disappointing. Thin, and free of any carbonation. Overall a mediocre brew. I would, however, strongly recommend it to my friends who love that that in-your-face coffee taste.

 626 characters

Photo of KevChiTown
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good thin coffee stout. Not really much else to say, it's low ABV and mouthfeel make more like a coffee Porter. It's not bad at all, just not very complex.

 157 characters

3.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Nice roasted malt and coffee flavors. Light carbonation, with a smooth mouthfeel. All in all a tasty brew. I don't know if I would seek this out to purchase on its own, but I always enjoy the two bottles that come in Lakefront's "box of beer."

 244 characters

Photo of JLaw55
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad coffee stout, I have had better versions though. If you are really into organic products though, this is the way to go.

Good, but there are other coffee stouts that I can get much easier.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: No

 248 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout) from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.36 out of 5 based on 1,002 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!