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A collaboration – All Day Coffee IPA

In 2013 we did four collaborations, in 2014 two, but last year to the best of my knowledge, until the collaboration below, none.

There are a few fellow brewers who we respect and who we’d love to collaborate with. But for us collaborations are mainly about the people, putting their collective heads together and, having fun; with no worries about boundaries; limitations or conforming to preconceived styles; simply – trying something new. So when Connor Murphy contacted us about doing a collaboration in conjunction with Manchester Beer Week for the Manchester Beer Festival we jumped at the chance.

It was between Christmas and New Year when Jonathan met with Connor, his friend Jonnie and John O’Donnell from the Manchester Beer Fest. I was there, but mostly in spirit, as I had agreed in advance of the collaboration, along with my two lads, to undertake deliveries that day. Connor will write a post of the brew day in due course so this is simply about what we planned for the brew.

For ages we had wanted to brew a coffee infused beer, as Ian Scott of Atkinson’s Tea & Coffee, Lancaster had, Ian though for small packaging. We both though wanted one with a difference, a Coffee IPA.

The plan was to brew a pretty unique beer, one with distinctive roasted coffee aromas and flavours. But a beer with a non-traditional golden appearance and balance between the coffee and hop flavours. Whilst it doesn’t sound completely natural, the flavours should hopefully work.

For this style-changing IPA the plan was to match the citrus and fruit tones of our chosen hops with the coffee flavours and aromatics. I had met Ian a few weeks earlier to carry out cupping on various coffee origins and in due course Ian will provide the freshly roasted beans, Japanese style, just-in-time, for dry-hopping.

The plan was for a Golden Ale, 5.1% ABV, with Cascade hops used for first wort hopping and middle addition, with Citra and Mosaic for aroma, with the coffee to be added, fresh and roughly ground, along with more Mosaic at the dry-hopping stage. Our best estimate is the coffee will need to be in the fermenter for 48 – 60 hours subject to on-going tasting – a bit of a balancing act as, of course, do you like your coffee – weak or strong.

The brew day went pretty much to plan, OG’s, colour, etc., although I believe the proposed hop additions changed a tad on Jonathan’s whim, but no doubt Connor will reveal all. Early tastes of the wort is promising, although the dry hopping with the Mosaic and the coffee addition has yet to take place.

For my part I hope the beer will provide a heady mix of citrus & tropical fruitiness from the Citra and Mosaic, along with a deep-roasted elegance from the coffee. And a taste to follow the aromatics, with the roasted coffee and citrus hops playing together with a dry, lingering bitterness. And the coffee flavours staying on after the hop bitterness recedes. I can’t wait!

The coffee origins for the brew are: Guatemalan Antigua Cuxinales, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Aramo and Columbian Granja La Esperanza Red Honey Pacamara.

Atkinson & Co. has been supplying Tea & Coffee to the citizens of Lancaster since a young Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837. The coffees above are all available online or from the shop; they are great people to deal with, so if ever you are in Lancaster just go and their adjacent Priory Hall is also well worth visiting.

I hope all enjoy the beer, which will be launched at the Manchester Beer Festival. And please all, do let us know what you think.