Barista Brew (8.1% ABV)
Blackstone Brewing. Nashville, TN
Black Coffee Stout
Bottles with limited SE distribution.
Blackstone Brewing was the first craft brewery in Nashville, established in 1994. Their most recent beer launches, the Barista Brew and Mocha Brew are coffee stouts made in collaboration with local roaster Frothy Monkey Coffee. Frothy Monkey Coffee itself was a business collaboration between local coffee shop Frothy Monkey and Midwest coffee roaster Kaldi’s Coffee. Their coffee roasting collaboration with Kaldi’s has already made waves in the Southeast, and will continue to do so for years to come, and this coffee beer collaboration is a result of its fruitfulness.
I asked Jeff Gibbs of Frothy Monkey what coffee they used and why they chose it and was told, “We used our Brunch Blend, which includes our Colombia San Fermin and Ethiopia Lima Gera, which gives the beer a nice bit of citrus pop.” Upon pouring this beer, you get a good burst of fresh coffee aroma. The beer pours little to no head, which makes sense given how hard it is to retain a head, as the coffee oils mostly dissipate them quickly. It pours a nice solid black, with a very medium body.
The first taste of the Barista Brew gives you a nice coffee flavor, with again, a medium body that closer resembled a porter, but still had a nice mouthfeel. Not oily, rather sweet, and the aftertaste is that citrus punch from the Frothy Monkey Brunch Blend. I’d say this is one of the better straight coffee stouts I’ve had, not too thick, not too light, coffee flavor isn’t too roasty and the beer highlights the coffee, instead of letting it play in the background. I would like to note that they also have a Mocha Stout, which surprisingly comes in at a lower ABV. Either way, check this out if you find one around you, or find yourself in Nashville.
Jason Dominy (@jasondominy) covers beer for the Sprudge Media Network, and is a co-host of The Last Beer Show podcast. Read more Jason Dominy on Sprudge.