I still don’t drink coffee. Many of my colleagues are shocked that I didn’t pick up the habit in graduate school, the 70-80 hour weeks in the lab drove many towards any additional boost they could find. I joked afterwards that I had one more big test, which started almost 7 months ago with the birth of my son, and I am still holding strong. The thing is, I am pretty sure I would like coffee, I like the smell and I enjoy a number of coffee infused beers. There are a number of reasons I don’t give it a shot; the cost (assuming I don’t stick to the free stuff at work), the additional empty calories (assuming I don’t drink it black, I get plenty of empty calories from beer), and my sensitivity to large doses of caffeine. There are some days where coffee would come in handy, like a Monday morning after a vacation that ended with an overtime Sunday night Patriots game, but I am still holding out. As a mentioned, I do enjoy many coffee infused stouts and porters, the key for me is adding enough coffee flavor to complement the malts without overwhelming them. One new addition to the local stable of coffee beers is Waypoint, a collaboration between Rising Tide Brewing Company and Tandem Coffee Roasters, both located in Portland, ME. Waypoint is currently available on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.
Rising Tide Waypoint pours pitch black with a small light brown head. The scent is a mixture of roasted barley along with coffee. The beer is very malt forward, notes of dark chocolate, cappuccino, fresh bread and toffee. The coffee flavor is well represented without overwhelming the beer. The hops flavor isn’t strong but is helps dry out the finish and gives a coffee-like bitterness to the beer. Waypoint is medium bodied and smooth, and at 4.8% ABV it is sessionable by many definitions. The finish is crisp with some lingering malt and coffee flavors. We need more porters and stouts that have big flavors without tons of booze or crazy adjunct additions, and this fits the bill perfectly. I would highly recommend giving Rising Tide Waypoint a try, it’s perfect for chilly early winter afternoons. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.