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New beer to pack wallop of caffeine Brewery teams up with Starbucks


SEATTLE -- For beer drinkers who get sleepy after a brew or two, a new beer with a kick is on the way.

Starbucks Coffee Co. and Redhook Ale Brewery have joined forces to brew Double Black Stout, a dark roasted malt beer brewed by Redhook with the added flavor of Starbucks coffee. )) The brew will have 30 milligrams of caffeine per 22-ounce bottle, one-quarter the strength of a cup of regular drip coffee. Beer ordinarily has no caffeine.

As specialty and flavored beers increase in popularity, some say the coffee combination has a good chance of success.

"It's not going to replace cappuccino or Irish coffee, but a brewery the size of Redhook introducing a beer like this is a good indication it may become a bigger thing than most people would expect," said David Edgar, the director of the Institute for Brewing Studies in Boulder, Colo.

To make the combination of two Seattle favorites, after primary fermentation of a stout, Redhook adds brewed Starbucks coffee to the mix.

"It's an incredible experience," said Dave Olsen, Starbucks senior vice president of coffee.

While the Starbucks-Redhook venture is the first time coffee-flavored beer has been brought to market on a large scale, Mr. Edgar said a brew pub in Oregon first brewed the combination.

The brew pub, McMenamins Pubs and Breweries, first cooked (( up the beer in about 1988 and has seldom made it since.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, it was between a 3 and a 5," said Keith Mackie, brewery general manager for McMenamins. "I bet [Double Black Stout]'s going to be a flash in the pan."

"People enjoy coffee flavor in ice cream and stuff, but it's nothing we would want to make exclusively," Mr. Mackie said.

Seattle-based Starbucks, a retailer and roaster of specialty coffee with over 650 retail locations, also recently released Mazagran coffee soda in a joint venture with PepsiCo Inc.

Redhook, which first went public last month, produces craft beers in Seattle.

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