Portland needed a coffee-beer festival. Not just because of our international reputation in both types of brew, but because coffee, better than most infusions, does wonderful things to beer. So the NW Coffee Beer Invitational at Goose Hollow Inn on Saturday, Jan. 25, is an exciting development—doubly so based on six excellent samples I previewed last week. Coalition’s coffee IPA and Pints’ coffee-cherry Berliner Weisse were good, but the most exciting brew of the bunch was Nutty Irish Mud from Fire on the Mountain. Built from the house’s dry oatmeal stout, Electric Mud, and conditioned whiskey-soaked oak chips and cold-pressed coffee from Spella, this sweet black brew is a take on an Irish coffee cocktail. They used hazelnuts, but I don’t get any of that. However, there’s lots of vanilla, oak and a touch of milkiness to go with a shaded hillside of java. Recommended.