Nitro cold brew, introduced to Stumptown cafes in June 2013, has become a popular product for the brand, shipping kegs of the stuff to bars, cafes, and offices nationwide. Why? It could be because of the dramatic cascading effect when you pour a pint of the stuff. But beyond looks, nitro cold brew has an incredibly creamy mouthfeel. Why? Tiny bubbles, friends.
“Our job is to create very tiny nitrogen bubbles and force them into the cold brew using very controlled high pressure,” explains Nate Armbrust, Technical Services Manager at Stumptown's Cold Brew Department. “The goal of getting the nitrogen into the product is so that it can come out of the product when served—creating the dramatic cascading effect. The Nitro Cold Brew in a can is then further assisted by streaming nitrogen gas out of the widget through the Cold Brew once the top is popped.”
Armbrust has been with the company for two years, and was brought on board to scale the cold brew process and develop new products. In that time, Stumptown has released cold brew in mini-kegs, cartons, and now, the can, to accompany its already-popular glass-bottled “stubbies”.
Stumptown has a cold brew facility in Brooklyn, but the bulk of the operation takes place at the company's new facility in Portland's industrial Southeast neighborhood. The 8,000-square-foot cold brew factory pumps out “boatloads” of cold brew, with twelve full-time employees working the grinding, brewing, and bottling. “Our business has been growing exponentially each year, so we've been increasing capacity to be able to produce stubbies, kegs, and growlers…and now nitro cans at our 9th & Main facility,” says Armbrust.
Stumptown works with a mobile canning service called Craft Canning that comes to the cold brew facility to can the Nitro Cold Brew, using special aluminum cans with nitro widgets shipped from the Ball cannery in Europe.
Nitro cold brew will run between $5.00-$5.50 per can. Nitro Cold Brew in a can will be released in all Stumptown cafes starting today, and will be available in grocery test markets like Southern California Whole Foods stores and New Seasons Markets in Oregon. Look for cascading, widgeted tiny bubbles coming to you, hopefully, soon, and learn much more at the newly launched ColdBrew.com.