Kehrwieder Kreativbrauerei are a Hamburg-based independent German Brewer, founded in 2011. The name ‘kehrwieder’ apparently comes from a saying in Hamburg ‘kehr wieder’, which translates to ‘come back’, and was used when saying goodbye to people ready to set sail to parts unknown back in the days of dangerous sea journeys. They have brewed over 100 different beers in their near-decade of production, and have been awarded over 40 international beer awards. These sort of open minded people are often great sources for innovative AF beers, so what delights does their Road Runner offering have in store for us?
Coffee stout is exactly what it says it is – a stout beer with coffee added to it, usually after the fermentation process. Coffee flavours are no stranger to stout drinkers, but these aromas typically come from the roasted malts used in the mash. I’ve tried plenty of stouts that are packed with coffee flavour just from the grain used, with several alcohol-free examples of such reviewed here, so why bother actually adding coffee as an ingredient? I expect it’s a result of craft brewers’ never ending quest for experimentation and finding the next big new thing. If it’s the caffeine content that they’re after I can’t see it making much of a difference. Going by the labelling there is 18mg of caffeine in 100ml of Road Runner, and doing some rough calculations a 330ml bottle of the stuff appears to equal about a quarter of that of a normal brewed black coffee. Oh well, lets hope it tastes good!
Pouring from the bottle we get a very dark brown liquid with good clarity, pretty much looking like a black coffee. A fair caramel-coloured head froths up but recedes to a thin film rather quickly. On the nose, you guessed it, we get coffee beans. It’s like inhaling the aroma of an americano, but there is some roasted malt making an appearance too, and a sweetness in there.
Of course, the coffee is present when we taste, but in a rather muted form. There is definitely coffee bitterness there, along with a slight caramel sweetness and a touch of chocolate. But it’s all rather light, and feeling a bit thin. The carbonation is quite soft, and we get a short bitter finish.
Not particularly stouty in my opinion, and as a coffee drink it’s very light. I’m a bit disappointed that it’s not packing the punch I was expecting, but being alcohol-free it might make a light alternative to a morning coffee should I see any more in a local shop.
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
0.4% alcohol by volume
32 calories energy
(taken from the side of the bottle)
Water, Barley Malt, Roasted Barley, Coffee Beans, Hops, Yeast
Kehrwieder Road Runner Alcohol-Free Coffee Stout Review
A missed opportunity to crowbar more coffee flavour into a deep black stout, instead this is more like stout-lite, but pleasant enough.