There must be something in the air this spring, this being the third coffee beer with a difference to come our way in less than two weeks. This time around, it's one that's been a long time in the making, with near neighbours La Sirène and Seven Seeds coffee roasters building towards this collaborative release in stages. Having decided to work together on a beer, they first held a structured cupping session to select an appropriate coffee, landing upon a range from Honduras (from a micro-lot from the Matazano Farm, grown in the mountains of La Paz Honduras by coffee producer Francisco Castillo, for any coffee geeks out there). Next was a session to decide on the right blend of beer and coffee; three coffee infusions hot and cold side of the brewing process were trialled until they were happy.
What they ended up with is a take on the brewery's sour red ale and a beer that's unlike anything else we can remember encountering in the seven-plus years of The Crafty Pint. It pours a lovely blood orange/chestnut colour from which soft, rounded fruity coffee aromas lead off, supported by red berries and hints of rich orange. On the palate, there's a cleansing acidic character underpinning the sweeter elements, while the coffee – presumably in conjunction with the specialty malts – takes on a mocha quality alongside the lighter fruity flavours.
It really is a quite unique beer, managing to conjure thoughts of wine on one side, iced coffee on the other and Ribena in the middle without any of them feeling out of place.
- Coffee Farmhouse Ale