We consider ourselves coffee aficionados and our customers appreciate our dedication to great tasting coffee, but coffee isn’t the only beverage that has its own experts on body, flavor, and aroma. Talk to a brewer and they will tell you beer is defined by the ingredients: hops, malts and flavor additives. Because we insist on only using the best coffee beans, you can expect that we wouldn’t partner with just anyone when it comes to creating the perfect coffee porter. That’s why we teamed up with Island Hoppin’ Brewery to bring two of your favorite flavors together in Camano Coffee Porter.
The History of Coffee Beer
Coffee has a long and colorful history. The legend tells of dancing goats and energy-giving berries. The history of beer is believed to go back as far as prehistoric nomads who made beer from grain and water. Some say that Noah kept beer in the provisions he loaded on the Ark, and at one point in history, beer was so highly valued it was used as wages and offering a lady a sip in ancient Egypt was considered a marriage proposal. However, the history of coffee beer is much more recent, beginning in the early 1990’s and it isn’t stopping anytime soon.
The Art of Using Coffee in Beer
Most brewers will tell you that a quality dark roast pairs best with porter and stout beers; they’ll also tell you using cold brewed coffee in the beer brewing process is far superior to using hot brewed coffee. There are a variety of methods for getting the coffee flavor in the beer, and it differs with each brewer to some degree.
Some brewers prefer to partner with large coffee roasting manufacturers, because they deliver beans that are both high-quality and consistent in flavor. Other brewers, mostly micro-brewers, may look for more local coffee roasters, because they’re experimenting with different flavor notes and aren’t necessarily looking to brew mass quantities of beer.
Brewers use cold brewed coffee to extract all of the flavors with lower acidity than hot brewing. Whether the coffee is coarsely ground or whole beans are used, it is steeped in cold water or cold beer for anywhere from 12 – 24 hours; occasionally it may be steeped longer, but should definitely be less than 48 hours for best results. A brewer may choose to have the coffee roaster perform the cold brewing or they may opt to do it in-house. Island Hoppin’ Brewery cold brews our Camano Island Coffee, and then adds it to their dry porter.
The coffee is then added to the beer either during the brewing process or after the initial fermentation. Usually a sample of beer is pulled, and then small increments of coffee are added until the flavor is just right. The same ratio used on the sample is then calculated for the large batch. After mixing, the brewer will “rack” the beer for a specific time to allow the flavors to disperse evenly.
Flavor Is Important, but It Isn’t the Only Thing
We care deeply about our coffee, our farmers, and our customers. We are pleased to partner with a brewery that has equally high standards for quality that also gives back to the community. We believe in being socially responsible and work with our coffee farmers to maintain our promise of using only fairly-traded, organic coffee beans. Island Hoppin’ Brewery honors our commitment to being socially responsible with the proceeds from every sale of Camano Coffee Porter benefitting the non-profit organization called “Brews for Books,” which assists veterans in getting the books they need for college. Start your day with Camano Island Coffee, unwind at the end of the day with a Camano Coffee Porter, and know that every sip makes a difference in someone’s life.