Beer by the Grill: Rogue Cold Brew IPA and Cream Ales

Beer by the Grill: Rogue Cold Brew IPA and Cream Ales
Rogue Cold Brew IPA with cube steak roll-ups and potatoes. Photo by Mark McDermott

I have been bound and determined to get some grill marks on something this weekend. So I got a recipe for marinated cube steaks and grilled potato planks. Instead of doing my own recipe, I just pulled them straight off the net, so I'm just linking to them here. (Okay, I ran out of Worcestershire sauce and tried to fill in with whatever was in the pantry. And tried Neufchâtel instead of cream cheese to save a whole 5 calories).

Bacon and potatoes. Two things you really grill with precision.

Bacon and potatoes. Two things you really can't grill with precision.

I prepared my cube steaks or over the weekend. But here it is Sunday afternoon; the temperature is in the upper 30s and now there is snow falling. But in the spirit of outdoor grilling, I am out here flaming my meat and potatoes and enjoying another beer that has been sent to me for my consideration.

Appropriately, I have a Rogue Cold Brew IPA. This is described as in India Pale Ale blended with cold brew coffee. Unlike most coffee beers, there are no steeped coffee beans involved. This is blended, as the can says, with "200 gallons of Stumptown Coffee Roasters' (of Portland, OR) famous cold brew coffee in every batch." Well, it’s chilly, I’m still sleepy, so this coffee beer sounds like a good idea. I am even going to pour it into the coffee cup that Rogue sent along with the beer. They also sent a second can, Cold Brew 2.0, the same blend in a blonde ale, that  I will add that to this writeup once I've tried it.

img_0254I know I won't get a picture of the beer's color from this coffee cup. Take my word for it that it comes out a little darker, with the kind of orangey color of some older IPA brands. This has 82 IBU in the hops department, and its bitterness and citrus is right up my nose, like any good Northwestern hop style. At first, the taste is deceptively like almost any other IPA. But within a few seconds there is a thread of cold coffee coming in. The coffee impression stays pretty strong all the way through the rest of the beer. At 7.5% abv, the alcohol is a little higher than normal and that could be hazardous, because this goes down very quickly. This would be one of those coffee beers that might wake you up and put you right back to sleep.

So the rest of our weekend plans might have come undone, like the White Sox entire stand in Minnesota being postponed by snowstorms. Like the cube steaks that I wrapped with two bacon strips and tried to hold together with toothpicks. Like another attempt to grill potatoes that results in a happy medium between raw and burnt. And like every time it snows, we say that this should be the last one this year, only to be proven wrong. It’s still important for me to do something to greet the spring in the hopes that it will finally decide to stay.

Rogue Cold Brew 2.0

And here’s the cream ale with cold brew coffee.

It took me until Memorial Day weekend to be able to drop a few more cuts on the grill. And that gave me a chance to get into the Rogue Cold Brew 2.0 Cream Ale. This is simply a Cream or Blond Ale, with same Stumptown Cold Brew addition.

It’s deceptively blonde in color, but pours rather opaque, with a nice, creamy looking head. I don’t get much of a coffee smell at all, just some pleasant blonde ale malt with a background of ale fruitiness. But there is a “cold brew” café to the taste, even a bite of latte cream. Hops actually stand to the side for the coffee flavor here. Despite aforesaid fruitiness, this is not cloyingly sweet as I get with some blond ales. So give the coffee and a no doubt interesting hop load some credit for that. Instead, it’s dry, yet pretty filling. A nice beer with which to kick off a hot Memorial Day weekend.

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    Mark McDermott

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