Monday, April 1, 2013

Coffee beers aren't just for coffee lovers at Pateros Creek

Pateros Creek Brewing CompanyPateros Creek Brewing Company and Conundrum Coffee recently got their heads together and came up with 4 specialty coffee beers, each with a unique beer recipe and a special blend of international ground roasted coffee. Over the last four weeks, Pateros Creek had been featuring 1 of these coffee beers each week as part of their string of coffee themed specialty taps. Then, culminating the month last Saturday on March 30th, Pateros Creek and Conundrum Coffee threw together a side-by-side coffee beer tasting called The Pateros Creek Coffee Conundrum. The event was split into two separate 90 minute sessions at 1pm and 3pm.

Beer lovers should note, that you don't have to be a coffee drinker to appreciate what coffee can do for a beer. Coffee adds a huge component to both the aroma and the flavor of the beer. What was surprising is that coffee can blend not only with darker beers, but also with some lighter colored full flavor beers as well.

Pateros Creek and Conundrum Coffee came up with the following four recipes. They issued a tasting guide along with the sampler try of the 4 brews. The following are the actual descriptions that were found on the tasting card.

Coffee beer sampler

It's Good To Be The Conundrum - "English IPA infused with Washed Yirgacheffe coffee. The hops provide a bitter, spicy note to compliment the coffee, which has pleasant floral and citrus flavors." - 1.064 OG - 58 IBU - 6.6% ABV.

You Give the Conundrum a Harumph - "Belgian Double blended with Yirgacheffe Coffee. It has a complex nose of dark fruit and spices. Rich caramel and toffee notes compliment chocolate and blueberry notes in the coffee." - 1.074 OG - 59 IBU - 7.4% ABV.

We Ain't Found S#!* - "Schwartzbier with Guatemala Atitlan. The rich chocolaty aromas of this lager are followed by a palate that is even more chocolaty and roasted. The Atitlan adds toffee and nutty flavors." - 1.059 OG - 31 IBU - 5.7% ABV.

Ethiopian Shim Sham - "Imperial Maple Brown Ale infused with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee. Roasted grain is accented by the coffee with its notes of blueberry and chocolate. The maple syrup lends a sweet finish." - 1.094 OG - 80 IBU - 9% ABV.

The guided session

Pateros Creek Brewer Steve Jones and Assistant Brewer Nick Chase were both on hand to introduce and to discuss the beers for the different tasting sessions. Also, members of Conundrum Coffee were there to hand out sample bags of ground and whole bean coffee to attendees.

Near the end of each tasting session, members of the session were asked to vote for their favorite coffee beer. The vote was to be used to help Pateros Creek and Conundrum Coffee decide which recipes to pursue for future collaborative releases. There were about 33 people in attendance for the first tasting session and the votes for their favorite brew went as follows:

- 15 votes - Ethiopian Shim Sham (Imperial Maple Brown Ale).
- 09 votes - We Ain't Found S#!* (Schwarzbier).
- 06 votes - You Give the Conundrum a Harumph (Belgian Dubbel).
- 03 votes - It's Good To Be The Conundrum (English IPA).

The two darkest beers took top honors even though all four of them seemed to work well. Thanks go to Pateros Creek and Conundrum Coffee for coming up with the recipes and hosting such a nice event on a great Spring afternoon. The crowd hopes that they continue to come out with more coffee brews in the future.

All photos by Dave Butler - Fermentedly Challenged. A big thanks to my big sister Deb for going along with me on this coffee beer adventure.

Related articles:
- Pateros Creek Brewing signs with Tivoli Distribution.
- Pateros Creek begins preparing for cans. (2012)
- A visit to Pateros Creek Brewing Company.

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