Part of what the Telegraph called the “London beer renaissance” in 2012, Beavertown Brewing is the work of Logan Plant, whose father, Robert, performed in an English blues-rock combo of some renown in the late 1960s and 1970s. Raised in the beer-loving Midlands region of England—literally in the middle, between London and Scotland—the self-avowed “yam yam” Plant the younger briefly flirted with professional football, and fronted some touring rock groups, but an enduring love of beer led him to found Beavertown as part of north London BBQ joint in 2011.
Some six years later and Beavertown, whose name is a cheeky anglicization of De Beauvoir Town (an international working class Hackney subdistrict), is one of the city’s most celebrated breweries. The brewery’s keen on collaborations, as evidenced by recent work with breweries like Parrotdog (New Zealand), Heretic (California), Dogfish Head (Delaware), To Øl (Copenhagen), and Naparbier (Spain), to name just a few. That makes them a natural fit to team with Caravan Coffee Roasters, one of London’s best roasters, with flagship restaurants in King’s Cross, Exmouth Market, and Bankside, a coming London roastworks HQ, and top wholesale accounts across the city.
The resulting beer is ‘Spresso, an Imperial Espresso Stout brewed Caravan’s Guatemala Xutuc espresso. At 9.5% ABV she’s no shrinking violet, made using Magnum hops and a Brewer’s Dozen of assorted malts with glorious names like Golden Promise, Best Pale, Carafa II and Crystal. There’s soft wafts of malt in the nose, with a surprisingly nimble, almost Porter-like mouthfeel—none of that liquid cocoa motor oil that overpowers any semblance of balance in most coffee stouts. In the glass the beer’s nicely balanced, boasting high tones from the washed Guatemalan espresso, a deep resounding molasses bitterness, and notes of raw panela sugar and sasparilla. The beer’s high proof announces itself upon departure, finishing off like an herbaceous, complex barley wine.
‘Spresso aches for a nitro tap treatment, and our tasting group found itself daydreaming (yes, you drink this in the daytime) about how lovely this beer would taste floated with vanilla, or perhaps even miso ice cream. And we’re all in love with the can’s original artwork and textured feel from artist Nick Dwyer, who designs all of Beavertown’s original can concepts.
Beavertown doesn’t distribute to the States—at least not yet—and so this can was actually obtained through a bit of subterfuge, muled my way by Steve Hall of Caravan Coffee during 2016 New York Coffee Festival. Cheers and many thanks for that—this one was a real treat, and is highly recommended for our London & UK readers.