There’s a new buzz in Boulder. Java, joe, the sweet, sweet nectar otherwise known as coffee is making an entrance into the brewing world. Specifically, cold brew coffee. But before we start putting our steaming morning mugs into the fridge, read on.
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping beans in cold water for a 12–24 hour period. The process differs from that of a hot brew in that the astringents, or what can make a cup of coffee bitter or burnt tasting, are kept within the bean (as in not released or tasted in the final product).
Fast forward to the brewing process. Cold brew coffee is making its summertime debut. The length of the cold brew process allows brewers to perfect both the timing and amount of coffee added to their craft beers. Typically though, the cold brew is added after fermentation and filtration. Previously only added to beers such as stouts and porters, coffee spiked brews are now found on the beer list from IPAs to Belgians.
“[He] doth protest too much.”
Shakespeare’s famous Hamlet line holds true for beer snobs today (meant in the most endearing sense of the words). There are those who believe beer should not be combined with fruit, coffee or anything besides that which it contains. Brewers are, like any creative professional, out to perfect, improve and generally ‘wow’ consumers with their craft. The coffee and beer collaboration is much, much more than a fad.
I spoke with Nolan Dutton of Ozo Coffee Roasters on this tasty marriage of sorts. “Craft brewers and craft coffee roasters share in a lot of the same goals and ideas,” he explains. Each industry is experiencing a bit of a growth spurt of its own, so it makes sense that “the concept collaboration is only going to get stronger.”
Being a bit of a coffee aficionado myself, Avery Brewing’s IPA collaboration with Ozo Coffee Roasters immediately caught my eye over lunch at the acclaimed brewery and restaurant. Two of my closest allies, my favorite flavors, together in one ice cold glass. I had to try it.
Leigh Audin, Special Products Brewer for Avery Brewing Co. is one of the minds behind the brewery’s collaborative efforts. Like Dutton, Audin echoes the similarities between coffee and beer professionals such as care for the craft, desire to evolve and of course love for the product. In addition, Audin helps to explain a bit about how Avery’s adventures in caffeination continue to evolve as consumers offer their opinions on a product. “[If I] get positive feedback from customers, I’ll keep making that initial product, but it also gets the gears turning and makes me think, “What’s next?” I, for one, can’t wait to see.