It seems like just yesterday that Heavy Table contributor Eric Faust and beer author Doug Hoverson sat down for an epic tasting of coffee beers. “Yesterday” was in fact five years ago. In the interim, Faust has gone on to found Duluth Coffee Company. And now, as its driving force, he’s co-producing some notable coffee beer.
This year’s edition of Bent Paddle Brewing‘s Cold Press Black comes out this week, and will generally retail for $10 for a 4-pack of 12-oz. cans. A two-time winner at both All Pints North and Autumn Brew Review, it marries Bent Paddle’s Black Ale with Duluth Coffee Company cold press coffee.
“When we deliver it to the brewery, we deliver full kegs of cold press coffee already brewed,” said Faust in an email interview. “To my knowledge this is the only coffee beer on the market done on this scale like this. Lots of breweries will add ground coffee to the wort and call it cold press because they think they are doing the same thing, but they are not.”
The advantage of pre-making the cold press? “When we make cold press we consider the coarseness of grind, multiple types of filtration, water hardness, steep time and refrigeration temp,” Faust says. “Just putting coffee in the wort overlooks everything that my company views as essential in brewing coffee properly.”
The coffee really leads with this beer, and that’s a good thing: Its body is a rich, roasty, clean, natural coffee flavor without any unpleasant bitterness or hollow artificiality to it. The beer itself is mild, gentle, and retiring — a perfect canvas for the bold, strong paint of coffee flavor. And for all its big body, this is a beer with little-to-no nose and an understated aftertaste with just a hint of coffee bite to it.