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

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Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout)Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout)
1,058 Ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,058 |  Reviews: 450
Photo of TastyTaste
2.31/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: 12 oz brown bottle. Small head that fades fast into nothingness. Pitch black body with lots of tan sediment.

Smell: Musty, sour coffee smell, slightly smokey. Light cocoa.

Taste: For a coffee stout, pretty lackluster. The coffee is there, but not dominant or robust. Sour and bitter, not a very good stout.

Mouthfeel: Watery, ok carbonated.

Drinkability: It has been a long time since i have been this bored by a stout, pass.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, Woodman's, apparently bottled in the 3rd week of april

I'm not sure exactly what Fuel Cafe is, or if it is even really a cafe at all. Nevertheless, Wisco locals are always welcome in my fridge.

appearance: very dark body, almost black, foamy chocolate brown head and very nice lacing

smell: a bouquet, for lack of a better word, of dark roasted coffee beans, roasted black malts, slightly grainy, a hint of sour fruit- perhaps cherries buried below

taste: dark roast coffee beans, some mild and dry chocolate flavors... im definitely picking up a slightly sour feel from the acidic hops. roast malts, creamy espresso similarities

mouthfeel: creamy with a fresh hop dryness in the aftertaste

drinkability: pretty drinkable

ehh, this was far from moving, glad i tried it though

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. This beer looks very thick pouring out of the bottle and into my glass. It's color is black with a brown head. Caramel and roasted coffee aroma. Starts out with lots of coffee flavor, although it's not very bitter. Turns chocolatey in the middle, at which point the flavor dies. The finish is very weak. Too thin for the this style of beer. A do like the use of carbonation. There's lots of very small bubbles that you don't even notice until you try to drink too fast. This is a good stout, it just needs a fuller body and flavor.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.82/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up in Boulder, CO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This was a black beer that didn't let any light through at all. The dark brown head rose up huge and filled up half of my pint glass on the first pour. It settled slowly with a frothy and spider-web-like appearance. Wispy lacing was left behind on the side of the glass.

Smell: Nice smell. The coffee was definitely present, but a lot of true stout aromas shone through as well. Dark coffee mixed with creamy milk chocolate and hints of bitter chocolate. Tons of roasted malt with some black patent provided a solid foundation.

Mouthfeel: Very light-bodied, especially for a stout. Almost watery at times. It was smooth but it seemed dead and lacking

Taste: A dark and bitter beer. Black coffee, bitter chocolate, and heavily roasted malts hit the tongue immediately. They were all lightly charred and a bit smokey. A little bit of sweet cream was present to help the balance. Bitter hops rose up on the finish to add their two cents. The aftertaste was a continuation of bitterness, along with some husky grains.

Not a bad beer, but it was weak on mouthfeel.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Almost black in colour. Powerful coffee aromas. Flavors of strong coffee with a hint of milk chocolate on the finish. Coffee (rather than hops) bitterness is present, but not overpowering. This coffee stout is on the right track, but not quite there yet. It needs more body and more sweetness to balance out the roasted flavors.

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Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.32/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this one a lot. Some sort of fascinating, unique earthy coffee flavor dominating. I have no idea exactly what that is or where it comes from. Not a typical coffee flavor. I think they must use some sort of special roast gourmet flavored stuff here, which is a good idea IMO.

Definitely the best Lakefront brew i've had yet, and worth picking up an entire sixer next time i'm in Pensacola, where Four Winds has pretty much their entire repertoire. This one makes me interested in trying more of their stuff.

Excellent coffee stout.

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Photo of murrayswine
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is from a great local brewery (Lakefront) that has always put out consistently plesant beers.

The smell imitates a good stout with lots of strong bitter coffee and semi-sweet chocolate.

It pours black as Denny's coffee with a moderate crisp head that sticks around.

The taste, however, sets the tone for this beer, and it isn't that good. This beer is just an alien product to me that tastes like poorly spiked coffee. I'm left with a tingled mouthfeel and a bad aftertaste. Unless you like coffee/beer shooters...Pass on this one.

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Photo of battlekow
3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an inky black with a tan head and very good lacing. Looks solid and menacing. Surprisingly, doesn't smell like much. There's a hint of old coffee, but not much. There's some sweet malt upfront in the taste, but in the back, where I'm looking for chocolate/nutty/roasty flavors in a beer like this, all I get is a smokiness, like meat cooked much too long. It's acrid and bitter and not very pleasant. There's not a vibrant coffee flavor to this beer, like I was hoping. In fact, there's not a lot of coffee character at all, except that it's bitter as hell. There's no reason to get this beer. The worst I've yet had from Lakefront, easily.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-Jet black opaque body with tiny bubbles clinging to the glass sides the head is a creamy dark brown but it doesn't last very long.

S- the smell of cold coffee is strong with a hint of floral hops

T- very tangy taste to start with a light coffee taste to follow. Roasted barley flavor in the background and a bit of hop spiciness also.

M- watery mouthfeel with no carbonation in the mouthfeel

D- This beer doesn't have the stout complexity or big maltyness to stand up to the coffee. There is very little hops and the coffee taste is more of a cold coffee than a coffee bean taste.

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Photo of BeerFink
3.34/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottled poured into a pint glass. Appearance is opaque black with a thin mocha colored head - no complaints here. Aroma is (surprise) coffee. Also small roasted and chocolate in the nose. However for a coffee stout, the aroma is rather weak. The taste is like an average stout with old coffee added. First to the tongue is a thin roasted flavor, followed by lots of black coffee. Think about a cup of black coffee that you forget on your desk for two hours. When you remember it, its cold and potent. This beer is kinda like that. I really like the flavor of black coffee, but this is a little overdone.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.61/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Label simply explains: Stout brewed with coffee.

Pitch black opaque pour with mahogany glints and a nuclear glow of a khaki cap.

Aromatic kick of coffee bean and roasted malt.

First swigs: Blends of roasted toasted coffee malts and stout lingering aftertaste of black coffee.

Thin mouthfeel for a stout. A bit flat like drinking yesterday's coffee cold.

Last swigs: Bitter coffee stout. DFH Chicory Stout blows this away. Enjoyable interpretation of the style.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: bottled July wk1...no year

Appearance: Pours cola black with a tan fluffy head. Looks a touch more like a porter than a stout but I'm splittin' hairs here...

Smell: Espresso and chilled coffee with cream. A definite roasted and smoky presence. Hints of cocoa and carmel are picked up as this beer warms.

Taste: Folgers, dry cocoa, imitation vanilla, with a bitter espresso-style finish.

Mouthfeel: A tad thin but medium and slightly creamy.

Drinkability: I could drink these all day. Light enough that the drinkability doesn't suffer but bold enough to have some good character. More like a coffee porter for me. I'd recommend it to all.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.22/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A blend of Lakefront Stout and Fuel Cafe Alterra blend coffee, brewed with 2-row malted barley and 5 specialty grains. Part of a sampler pack from Lakefront.

Pours out to a clear, nearly opaque very dark mahogany when held up to torch light, forming a medium-sized dark tan/cinnamon tinted head with poor retention and mild lacing. The aroma is a dead ringer for Kzoo stout with that black walnut, bittersweet chocolate, roasted grain and coffee aroma. Aside from the poor retention and lacing, I would be unable to tell the difference between this and Kzoo stout based upon looks and aroma alone (this is a good thing!). The similarities end there, however as the mouthfeel is exceptionally thinner (medium-light bodied) with a touch more acidity and wooden astringency in the finish. Aside from that the taste is very similar to Bell's and an echo of the aroma. There is a brief metallic note in the middle, and the herbal hops are balanced nicely. Cleanly fermented with no off flavors.

This is nearly exactly like a thinner bodied version of Kzoo stout. I attribute the metallic note, thinner body, and astringency to the coffee used to brew this stuff. Considering how much coffee they must have used to thin this stuff down, I'm not appreciating a distinct coffee flavor like I would expect in a beer of this style. A good beer, but it needs more malt body and less coffee. I'll stick with my favorite instead:)

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Photo of bditty187
3.01/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Black, maybe a dark brown highlight around the edges but even against a light this beer is black and opaque. The head reached a little over a finger in height, foam color was russet. Head retention was okay; it faded a little too rapidly. Before long the foam had turned into a thin, foamy cap. This cap did have good staying power. Subsequent lacing was spotty and it didn’t cling all that well. The general look of this beer is positive, some of the details are lacking though; otherwise this beer would have had a standout appearance. The nose is roasty with chocolate undertones and some acidity from the roast. Coffee aromas are limited to hints of day old black coffee, very faint at that. “A stout brewed with coffee,” says the label, the nose says otherwise. I’ve had regular stouts that have produced a more potent coffee aroma. The bouquet is simplistic but pleasant. Inviting but nothing special. The palate is good, nothing more, and nothing less. It is not anywhere near Bell’s Java Stout but much closer to Spilker Ales XPO. I’d rather drink the Bell’s interpretation of the style. Coffee flavors are limited. Roast is slight, some chocolate, and just a dash of creamy sweetness. Acidic at times. Hops don’t offer much, some random, light, earthiness… maybe. The finish is far too quick and the aftertaste is empty. I can’t see this beer working well with food, in large part because the body is too damn thin. Coffee stouts are good with various cakes and even steaks but there is no body here; it couldn’t standup to most food. Oh well. Light in body, thin, watery, weak carbonation, the mouthfeel is completely unimpressive and outright disappointing. It is really easy to drink, there isn’t much complexity on the tongue that forces you to slow down and really figure the beer out. Plus the body is thin; it slides down like a cool glass of water. Refreshing (!) but a pointless and undesirable quality in a stout. I’ve had much beer stouts with coffee; I’ll drink those and skip this in the future. It was purchased as part of a sampler-pack in Milwaukee, WI.

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Photo of alexgash
3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a coffee black with a small tan head with good lacing. Smells of sweet roasty malt, coffee beans, and bitter dark chocolate. Kinda mellow though. Taste starts out slightly sweet, followed by dark chocolate notes. The coffee bean kicks in later, bitter, roasty. Finish is joe bitter with a hint of cocoa sweetness. Mouthfeel is a little watery and too bubbly. Not a bad beer, but meh.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 fluid ounce bottle. The brass colored crown cap has the Lakefront Brewery Logo on it, a red ‘LB’ with a mug full of beer to accompany it. A single 180° obverse label has a dark colored label that has a coffee bean background. The words ‘Fuel Café Coffee Flavored Stout’ are emblazoned in white font inside a large oval decal. Listed as ‘A Stout Brewed with Coffee’. No listed strength, yet it does have a punch marked system on the right hand side of the label that shows that this was Bottled During Week 4 of February – though again, no year is mentioned!!

Appearance: Very dark body, almost black but with a strong light, some mahogany hints can be seen though the refracted edges of my thick Pint glass. A massive dark tan head splodges the top of the Stout. Excellent lacing and a 2” thick head slicks the sides with spider web lacing as the beer is drunk.

Nose: Black malts, roasted coffee beans and some chilled coffee in the background. Creamed coffee aromas in the back end.

Taste: Lots of coffee beans in the start, coffee traits in the first third are dominant. Dark roasted malts are light in character but they are there. Bitterness fills in the middle mixed with a dark chocolate feel that has a bold body. The ending is bitter with the translucent tastes of cold wasted percolated coffee that sticks to the enamel on your teeth.

Mouthfeel: The body tricks you at times, it feels like thick “coffee” but the sensation is rather much less, almost thin in fact. This has an average body that is encrusted with a dark coffee feel which adds some feel. Nevertheless, overall, it has an average mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Reasonable Drinkability backed by lots of dark chocolate and coffee tastes that add a nice dimension to a Stout that offers plenty of flavor but little feel.

Overall: Another nice offering from Lakeland and a tasty Coffee Stout. I liked this one, but it is “heavy” in the flavor department, which coupled with the average mouthfeel makes it difficult to consume over the long term.

A “Starbucks” Thanks to Minneapolis BA TallGrandeVenti for this one!

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Photo of RedBaron
4.23/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured nicely; very dark (opaque), with a brownish head that dissapated moderately, but left a nice high ring around the edges. The beer's got legs!

Smell: Intense roastiness. Thinking the brewer sneaked in a little molasses, too, perhaps even nutmeg, as there's a sweet spice smell to balance the burnt and toasted notes.

Taste: Picking up where the smell left off--very roasty. Kicks better ass than a Starbuck's latte, though, as it's got a faint sweetness (lactose, perhaps?) added to it in the finish. No detectable hop character.

Mouthfeel: Good body, sustained roastiness through and through. No watered-down impressions left, but not cloying either. Well-built.

Drinkability: A good stout to enjoy by the fire on a cold night. A nice beer to sip, and probably one that would pair nicely with some Texas-style BBQ.

This is a nice stout made from the folks at Lakefront, who normally favor lagers in their repetoire. This stout, I presume made with ale yeast though finishing clean, gives dry stout lovers a beer to enjoy. Well done!

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Photo of ADR
3.78/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice thickish pour, opaque black with a sturdy dark reddish-brown head. Laces all over the place on the glass. Dark malty aroma, some brown sugar, just a light java tone. On the other hand, coffee starts the flavor profile in spades, a little obvious, but not unpleasant. Light caramel impression mid mouth with a light and overall too thin finish for my tastes. Coffee returns in the aftertaste. This is a decent beer, coffee and Stouts work well together, but it just doesn't have the impact like a Bell's Java Stout, for good or for bad. Smooth and drinkable though.

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Photo of Winter
3.96/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black in color with a thick dark brown foamy head. Soapy lacing down the side of the pint. Aroma consists of roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate. Good, but could be a little stronger. The mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied. Full flavors of coffee and roasted malt. No sweetness evident in this stout what-so-ever. Coarse bitterness strikes midway through and carries into the finish. The bitterness dries the back of the tongue and top of the mouth.

Brewed with coffee from local bean roaster Alterra and made exclusively (although easy to find at most stores) for the Fuel Cafe. This is a very enjoyable Coffee Stout, but tends to lean more toward the bitter side. Somewhat forgotten and under-rated IMO.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Labeled as Fuel Cafe Coffee Flavored Stout not Fuel City. Hope I'm reviewing the right beer. Pours an opaque darkest brown with a rich tan to brown head. Kind of nutty, roasty and fruity aroma, can't really discern much coffee. Tastes rather thin but a good roasty malt profile. Not picking up on any hops, nor coffee (other than the acidity that coffee would provide to a beer). Sort of like a milk stout. Enjoyable, but not really what I expected.

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Photo of Skidz
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Re-review: 02.14.05:

While I'm not changing anything from my previous review, I'm going to give a few extra points where their needed. I can't give this anything more than an average rating in terms of flavor, as it is just not there. For a coffee stout, this one is weak, and has only slightly more body than a cup of joe. Aroma still seems off, as it is definately dominated by a tangy berry presence. On the other hand, it's more drinkable than that last time I had it, so there is another change.

Overall, it's just not one of lakefront's best.


Pours out a dark brown, that finished of a nice deep black, with little or no light shining through. Comes equipped with a...'bottle brown' head, it's really that color. Quite thin, and dissapears quickly.

Kind of smells of berries, some roast grains and a little something sweet, probably chocolate. For a coffee flavored stout, it's really hard to pick out any coffee hues. Maybe I can taste 'em out....

What the heck is going on here? This tastes...really strange, not at all what I expected. There is this sweet and tangy taste up front that could be desribed as citrusy. There are about 5 levels to this beer, and I can't pick anything out for certain. Starts off slightly sweet, moves on to the tangy citrus, then to just plain acidic (not citric), then to a pleasing smoothness that was not expected, then finishes off with a small amount of bitterness...very little. After taking quite a few mouthfuls, I got a bit of coffee taste, right in between the acidic part and the smooth part, but that was it.

An intersting feel to it, not bold or full, but nothing weak either. This is one of the stranger beers I've had to date. As far as drinking more...ooh, tough one. I'll say 2, tops.

Just one comparison to make...this beer is very similar in build to Guinness Extra Stout. It has that same fruity parts that really put it in a different category as far as flavor and smell is concerned.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin for a coffee stout with chocolate notes that make this more of a porter. Fuel City lacks much depth, but has a nice simple coffee element with hints of cocoa and cola. Compared to Bell's, this is weak, but coffee stouts are very difficult to pull off, so I commend Lakefront for making a really solid beer. Many people I tasted with found it too acidic, but my palate isn't usually affected too much by acid.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is labeled as a stout though the designation might be better as a porter. Comes up much like a porter rather than a stout in a couple of ways.

The nice dark mahogany body looks full and rich and it is topped by a rather large beige head. The head dissipates rather quickly but leaves a nice residual from which nice sticky lace continues.

The nose is highly coffee-like and this is certainly repeated in the flavor in a big way. The coffee taste is joined by roasted grain notes and chocolate hints.

The feel is disappointing when compared to the look. Whereas the look is rich and full, the feel is thin and a bit watery - more porter like. The drinkability is limited by the heavy coffee sense and a perceived high ABV.

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Photo of grynder33
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured like a carbonated cup of coffee. Yep, it has a definite coffee aroma not overpowering but distinct, a subtle chocolate coffee taste with a coffeebean aftertaste. You get a blast of coffee aroma every time you go for a sip. Nice for what it is, not a session beer, but something nice when you want to take a break from the hops.

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Photo of BierReise
3.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is new in our area, so I thought I'd give it a try. Really black with nothing coming through and a small dense head. Aroma is really nice with strong coffee and roasted malt but no noticable hops. Flavor is of coffee and malt that is dry and slightly bitter. Body is maybe a tad thin but pretty decent in my opinion. Overall this is a good stout that's worth a try.

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Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout) from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.43 out of 5 with 1,058 ratings