Cup A Joe
Short's Brewing Company

Cup A JoeCup A Joe
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Stout - Sweet / Milk
Ranked #105
Ranked #2,974
4.13 | pDev: 12.11%
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Cup A JoeCup A Joe
Notes: Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout uses Higher Grounds roasted fair trade espresso beans in every facet of the brewing process. Prominent aromatics of malt, espresso, and cocoa are abundant, and there are robust flavors of cream and coffee. This is the perfect morning night capper.

35 IBU
Reviews: 315 | Ratings: 773 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by nickadams2:
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nickadams2 from New York

4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_ Pours black with a thick dark brown mocha colored head. A good two finger head at the end of pour with slow retention. Head subsides into a thick layer of foam with thick lacing that clings to the glass.

S_ Sells of strong coffee and vanilla. The coffee comes through stronger through the smell than the taste.

T_ Tastes of black coffee , roasted malt, burnt chocolate and vanilla. It tastes strongly of coffee but its balanced nice with the other flavors. In some other coffee stouts I find that the coffee over dominates the flavor but not in this one. It works well.

M_ Thick and creamy. Bold but I could definitely drink a couple of these.

D_ Very drinkable for a coffee stout. To drink just one is hard.

Jan 03, 2010
More User Reviews:
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MIbeer27 from Michigan

4.56/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, dated 12/03/14

Poured into a snifter, the bottle is a pitch black hue with a slowly dissipating, two finger mocha head.

Aroma is huge, wet coffee grounds along with some faint chocolate and roasted malt. Easily the best smelling coffee beer that I have had.

The taste is slightly more focused on the chocolate and roasted malt (compared to the aroma), but the coffee is definitely there. There is a lovely creamy aspect, as well.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a charred bitterness on the back end. Carbonation is on the low end.

Overall, the massive coffee aroma is intoxicating and when paired with a creamy chocolate and roasted malt taste, the beer really separates itself. Founders Breakfast Stout sit down, Cup a Joe is the clear Michigan made coffee stout king.

Dec 25, 2014
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jvgoor3786 from Arkansas

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle dated 10/31/16. The beer pours a solid black with a small tan head that quickly dissipated leaving medium lacing.

The smell coffee, coffee, and coffee. There is also a little chocolate and something sweet, maybe the creme.

The taste is sweet like a milk stout and very coffee forward. There are some nice roasted malts in there also.

The mouthfeel is decent with medium carbonation and thickness.

Overall this is a very nice beer. The coffee is strong but not overpowering and it's tempted by the sweetness of the creme.

Mar 17, 2017
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wtkphoto from Michigan

4.56/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 14, 2014
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harripat from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Jun 28, 2014
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axf4129 from Indiana

4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

May 08, 2017
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MbpBugeye from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adam's perfect pint.

A- Big tall, very dark brown head. The beer pours very black, there's no chance of light passing through this one.

S- Coffee, coffee, coffee. Very strong and very heavy on the coffee. Light coffee with cream and sugar. Also at times smells like wet coffee grounds and hints of dirty earth. Very nice smell.

T- Bitter coffee and chocolate. This beer is strong and biting. Quite bitter and roasted. Towards the end there is a slight creamy, milkiness that compliments the strong coffee notes well. The wet grounds and dirt found in the aroma is here as well.

M- Sharp carbonation aides in the strong biting nature of the coffee. The body is slightly thinner than I had hoped. The milk sugars seem to have made quite a sticky beer.

D- Powerful in the nose as well as the taste. I was going to drink another beer after this tonight but it might be hard to cleanse my palate after this beer.

Jan 19, 2010
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kylelenk from Michigan

3.67/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled and enjoyed in both a snifter and a pint glass...Not at the same time.

A- Black with a little bit of settlement at the bottom of the bottle. Head is a white/tan bubbly beauty that dissipates quickly and leaves little cascading laces.

S- Rather smokey for the category.

T- Expected it to be more like a mocha shake and yet the pallet is filled with wooded char and burnt almonds. There is a very subtle taste of morning coffee that is just begging to be unleashed. Absent is the lactose that is supposed to make this sweeter (?).

M- Little disappointed with how viscous and rich it is compared to the rather subtle pallet.

O- Never really found Cup A Joe to be a balanced beer. For a milk stout, it isn't that sweet. For a coffee stout, it's rather bland. Every year I keep hoping they'll tweak it and nail it.

Nov 23, 2013
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Helly from Michigan

4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 24, 2016
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woosterbill from Kentucky

4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to Sandman3479 for giving me this to try!

A: Deep, opaquely black body under two fingers of creamy light-brown head. Good retention, great lace. Lovely.

S: Pure, deeply roasted espresso coffee. Woody, charred, and almost a little smoky. Lots of spice. Definitely one of the most coffee-forward aromas I've encountered, even for a coffee stout, and it's impressively complex despite the single focus. Excellent.

T: Follows the nose up front, with wave after wave of woody, herbal, charred roasted coffee. Some chocolate and cream flavors try to mellow things out a bit midway through (I'm especially impressed by the way the lactose delivers a distinct cream flavor), but the dry, charred bitterness of the coffee overwhelms the finish and aftertaste. After a moment it's honestly difficult to tell if I've just had a sip of beer or espresso. Fun, but a bit unbalanced.

M: Soft, creamy, and highly carbonated. I'm a fan.

O: Really digging this beer, even if I wish the finish were a little more restrained. This is definitely the Shorts brew I've had yet. You were right, Dino! Thanks again!


Jan 28, 2014
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Dactrius from Wisconsin

4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Small but proud head. Nose is pretty much pure coffee. Coffee isn't quite as strong on the palate but still very nice with a ton of flavor for a beer at 7% (which isn't very noticeable). Feel is solid as well for a lighter beer (when the hell did 7% becomes light? I suppose drinking this immediately following a glass of No Rules might be to blame, at least tonight). I don't love this beer quite as much as that last time I had it but it's still one of the best non-BB coffee stouts I've had.

Apr 04, 2014
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CantankerousCaveBear from Canada

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 24, 2018
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JizackFH from New York

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a really dark brown color, almost black. It has a nice fluffy 2-finger mocha colored head on it. The head has good retention, and it leaves behind some scattered lace on the glass.

S - The nose is dominated by the smell of black coffee and dark chocolate. There are some roasted malt aromas, as well as some sweet cream and sugar.

T - The taste pretty much follows the nose. It starts off with some dark roasted malt and a huge coffee flavor. There is some cream-like sweetness and a nice dark chocolate presence. The finish leaves some lingering flavors of coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate behind on the palate.

M - This has a pretty full body, but it seems to thin out a bit as well. It has good carbonation, and it goes down quite easy. There is a nice smooth feel to this, but there is some roasted quality as well. Some cream sweetness is also present. Roasted malt bitterness lingers on the palate.

O - This has good drinkability. I could drink a few of these in a sitting. Overall, I thought that this was a really nice and interesting stout. You really get what the name says in this one. There is a ton of coffee presence, as well as some cream. I really enjoyed it and I recommend trying it, unless you dislike coffee flavor in your stouts.

Dec 31, 2011
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rjp217 from Massachusetts

4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Love the balance of coffee roast and sugar sweetness from this. More than just a coffee stout in my opinion.

Apr 24, 2016
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akopczyk from Ohio

4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 31, 2017
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davey101 from Connecticut

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass. I enjoyed 2011 vintage last year but never reviewed it. Thanks steimie!

A - Black body with a two finger mocha head. Foam sticks around for a long time. Excellent lacing and retention.

S - Plenty of coffee. Roasty, bitter and slightly sweet . That is about it actually.

T - Rich and roasty coffee beans and sweet milk sugar. Again, just coffee...but its so delicious. This might be my favorite "coffee beer" but its certainly not the best "coffee stout". Aftertaste is of bitter coffee beans.

M - Medium bodied and creamy. Carbonation is on the low side.

O - Shorts certainly has a skill for making beers which meet their descriptions. While this beer lacks the flavors and aromas that I would normally associate with a stout, this is spot on like a good cup of coffee with some cream. Phenomenal execution!

Dec 22, 2012
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rjl910953 from Tennessee

4.75/5  rDev +15%

Dec 27, 2012
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RPM3334 from South Carolina

3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aug 16, 2015
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JordanEllwanger from Michigan

4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great opaque black stout with a quicly fading tan head of caramel foam. Very good aroma. Such creamy coffee grounds and milk flavored sents rise to my nose. Very strong tastes of coffee grounds flood the taste buds fallowed by a creamy milk finish. A delightful feel makes this beer a great stout.


Feb 07, 2010
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JimGlonke from Illinois

4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dec 29, 2014
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yungbrew from Michigan

2.5/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aug 24, 2015
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Thanks to KJGAGNE for this bottle!

I'm not a fan of people who misuse an "a" for an "o'", but hopefully the beer still tastes good. It pours a straight black-brown topped by a finger or so of light tan foam. The nose comprises coffee (and lots of it, son!), light cocoa, roasted malts, and brown sugar. The taste does not feel brave enough to deviate from this plan of attack. Some buttercream finds its way in there as well. In the finish, though, there is a definite feeling of acrid coffee, which VDubb helps me to understand as the aftertaste one would encounter in a bad cup o' coffee. The body is a competent medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a pretty nice stout, but that acrid aftertaste leaves something to be desired.

Jan 26, 2011
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Sirvis from Michigan

4/5  rDev -3.1%

Mar 08, 2014
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NateDyk47 from Michigan

4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Feb 20, 2016
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Kkottonmouthkngz from Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

jet black, mocha two finger head in sam adams perfect pint.
smells like the best coffee in the world. it reminds me of wolavers alta gracia coffee porter, another top pick. coffee coffee coffee coffee.
upon the first sip, remarkably, the coffee just takes a minor step back. by no means is it backing off, its just not AS potent as the potent smell. i almost feel like i could drink this for breakfast. a little bit of mocha pokes its minute head through but just doesnt quite make it.
this brew gets top grade for drinkability and mouthfeel also, its just so damn good. highly reccommended. make sure you let it warm up, and take your time enjoying it!

Jan 19, 2011
Cup A Joe from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 773 ratings