Fall’s a-brewin’ and so are we. But, really, that should come as no surprise. It’s kinda why we’re here. If we weren’t, we’d probably have to change our name.
But we’ve got a superior brew coming up for autumn — something that combines two of your favorite brewed beverages: beer and coffee.
And it’s not just any coffee we’re using. You know of our penchant for sourcing locally, right? Any time we can, we like to support our local businesses — and we’re pretty lucky to have some of the greatest coffee being roasted right up the street at Avalon Coffee.
We’re using their house roast: a blend of 100% Arabica Costa Rican, Kenya AA and Colombian Supremo beans. It’s not just for breakfast anymore!
Head Brewer Brian Hink — in addition to being a genius in the brewhouse — spent fifteen years in the coffee biz, so this is kind of a match made in sweet-aroma’d heaven.
The combination of coffee with a hearty stout is perfection in a glass. “The soft cocoa notes from the Latin American portion paired with the bright and juicy aspects of the Kenya makes it the perfect blend of beans,” he tells us, “wonderfully suited for our full-bodied and roasty stout.”
The really cool thing? The coffee ends up retaining all the caffeine it would have if you were to use it to make… well… coffee. We’re “dry-coffee-ing” the brew — pretty much the same process as dry-hopping a beer. So, we’ll end up pulling all the caffeine, but we’re not using the same amount of grounds that we would if we were brewing multiple barrels of coffee, so it won’t be quite as strong.
“At the ratio we used, you’re getting about a third of a cup of coffee per eight ounces of beer,” Brian says, “which comes out to around 60 milligrams of caffeine per pint of beer.” Still quite a bit of caffeine, “so it’s not recommended for pregnant women or people with heart conditions.” Who probably shouldn’t be drinking beer, anyway.
“Expect a rich blend of cocoa, slightly nutty, and fragrant coffee aromas paired with the roasty and slightly bitter notes of the base stout to create a beautifully full bodied cup of joe… er, beer,” Brian tells us.
They were brewing the Avalon Coffee Stout this past week, and the brewery — which already smells like the happiest place on earth — smelled like Juan Valdez decided to drink all the beer. It was glorious. It’ll be a few weeks before it’s ready, but, as far as we’re concerned, October 6th can’t come fast enough.
But, wait! There’s more!
We’ve got something else brewing that’s gonna knock your stockings off just in time for Christmas. Christmas 2017, that is. We’d get it out to you sooner, but, as you’ve probably learned by now, barrel-aging takes a looooong time. And this one will be so beautifully barrel-aged that the finished product will be well worth the wait.
If you’ve ever wanted to spend Christmas in Belgium — and, let’s face it, who hasn’t? — then this beer will be right up your abbey. A dark ale in the Trappist tradition, we’re just starting to brew this heavenly Christmas concoction this week. It’s unpasteurized and unfiltered, brewed by adding sugar to the wort kettle, then bottle-conditioned.
Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm tells us that “we added Dark Belgian Candi Syrup to the boil that adds a dark color as well as the flavors of plums, raisins, burnt sugar, and a slight molasses note. The candi syrup also makes up a large portion of the fermentable sugars, but contains no unfermentable dextrins like malt, resulting in a very dry body in the beer.”
He’s being pretty tight-lipped on this one, but Jimmy gave us an idea of what to expect. “It’ll have a very complex palate from the spicy and phenolic Belgian yeast, a sweetness reminiscent of caramel and dark fruits of the Candi Syrup, and notes of dried fruits, honey, vanilla, and a slight oak flavor from the Cognac barrels.”
This sounds like a tasty Christmas dessert! And with an ABV in the 9.5%-10.5% range, it’ll be the perfect brew to quaff during one of those large family dinners. Your crazy uncle’s ramblings will be that much more amusing. As Jimmy tells us, “It’ll be warming, dry, sweet, complex, and extremely satisfying.”
As we said, this brew will be coming at you next Christmas, so add it to your shopping list now. You won’t want to forget when it comes around next year. But, no worries. We’ll be sure to remind you. Just keep your eyes on the blog!