Over the past few months, we’ve been working on a recipe for a rye coffee porter, and finally our brewery version will be out Saturday. We’ve always found coffee beers can be hit or miss and wanted to take up the challenge of brewing a version we could be proud of.
The fun part in developing a recipe is making the beer at home on our basement homebrew system (for personal taste-testing purposes of course). This coffee porter recipe had gone through two iterations at home. We tried different grain bills as well as different methods for using even the coffee. Then the recipe was scaled up and skillfully brewed by our brewers.
Playing around with recipes on the home brewery 'pilot system'.
Coffee can be added to beer in so many ways. You can throw in some coffee beans just like you would hops later in the boil kettle, you can put the beans in the fermenter following primary fermentation like a dry hop, or you can add beans or brewed coffee (from a coffee maker, French press or espresso machine) to the beer prior to packaging. We decided on the later method of adding the coffee before packaging to keep the coffee flavour as fresh as possible. Not only that, but we used the cold brew coffee method so that we didn’t get as much of the acidity or any of the harsh, astringent characters from the roasted beans.
Prepping the freshly ground beans for the cold brew addition.
Also the whole point of making a coffee beer was to be able to showcase the coffee from one of our favourite local roasters, Firebean Coffee Roasters. We are lucky in Whitehorse to have such a great selection of local roasters, including Midnight Sun and Bean North, which are both very well established. Firebean is new to the scene and Mike makes very small batches, by pedaling a stationary bike to turn the roasting drum over a birchwood fire. We’ve been inspired by Mike and his wife Sarah’s micro start-up business, which has taken Whitehorse by storm.
Coffee soldiers! Ready! Aim! Fire!
So we are excited to bring you Firebean Rye Coffee Porter (6.8%). It’s a smooth and chocolatey porter with a hint of roast and a light fruity and spiciness from the malted barley and rye. The dark roasted Guatemalan (fair trade organic) coffee beans lend some of the complex chocolate, roast and fruit flavours in the beer.
Your first chance to try this beer will be the Friday installment of the 4th Annual Yukon Beer Festival (October 13-14, 2017), in Whitehorse at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre. Bottles and draft will be available at our Tasting Room starting Saturday!
**** WARNING: It may seem obvious but there is coffee in this beer, so if caffeine affects you, maybe don’t drink this one right before bed! On the other hand if you need a pick-me-up in the evening, this could do the trick! ****