The coffee-beer love story continues - what’s new from Manchester Craft Beer Festival
Author: Rebecca Wooden
The craft beer industry, the rock and roll canned cousin to specialty coffee. Our two industries overlap through an obsession with scientific and precise methods in recipe testing and production, as well as the discerning palette required to create the ultimate boozy or caffeinated brew. It’s no wonder that when these two worlds collide, magic happens.
We’ve had a long history of roasting the crucial coffee for some stand-out craft coffee beers over the years (... you can check out our previous blog introducing the coffee-beer love story right here). Our long-standing relationship with Siren leads to the caffeine kick in their seriously smooth Breakfast Stout. We’ve also worked on some down right delicious beers with Brew By Numbers in recent years, with something new and exciting in the pipeline for you to try very, very soon (watch this space).
We’ve just returned from two action-packed days taking our Espresso Martini bar up North to the brilliant Manchester Craft Beer Festival. We had a blast and we were just thrilled to be bringing specialty coffee to the event, showcasing just what the depth of a quality coffee can offer the craft drinks industry. Who would have thought an espresso martini could act as the perfect palette cleanser from those hoppy brews.
In our down time we got down to the very serious business of taste testing from some of our neighbours at the festival (it’s a research project - I promise!). Always on the lookout for an interesting flavour profile or processing method, here’s 4 stand-out things we tried, and some exciting things to share from the craft industry right now…
Something seriously sour, from Vault City
Craft sour beers have really taken off in the last few years, alongside a growing taste for all things naturally fermented. This really opens the door for some big and bright flavour profiles and we were blown away by the brews from Edinburgh based Vault City. A real festival highlight was the first taste of their Strawberry and Banana brew, made using 999g of fruit per litre of beer. That’s legally the highest fruit content you can add in the brewing process, all still calling it a beer (add 1g more and it’s basically a boozy smoothie). Delicious!
When ice cream meets beer, from North Brewing Co.
Another thing the coffee and beer industries have in common is a shared love for a wild collab product. Share the skills, the knowledge and the creative inspiration to make something truly special. Our festival neighbours North Brewing Co. smashed it with their Vegan Ice Cream UBE Sour collaboration brew with ice cream aficionados, Northern Bloc. Full of fruit flavour and sitting at a sessionable 3.2% ABV this was one of the first, and the tastiest things we sampled through the festival. Do check out their taprooms across Yorkshire.
Barrelled and aged, from UnBarred
Good things take time. Brighton based UnBarred have made something really quite special with their Barrel Aged Bueno Shake. A dessert in a glass, this seriously indulgent brew has the addition of deep aged bourbon to create a real nutty, almost wafer like note.
For the people! Liquor with a conscious, from The Public Spirit
Manchester based Olly and Naomi founded The Public Spirit with community in mind. For every bottle of aged or spiced rum bought, they’re donating 4 meals to people who need it across the UK through charities The Felix Project, Mustard Tree and So Let’s Talk. The rum is also downright delicious. Doing good really does taste good. Eyes peeled as we paired it up with our Midnight Oil for an upcoming cocktail creation.
What an event! Thanks to everyone that put in so much planning and thought to bring the whole weekend together in such a stunning venue. And big thanks to all the friendly faces of Manchester that visited our stand over the weekend for a chat and a tipple. We can’t wait to join you for more fun next year.
What makes our Espresso Martini extra special? The coffee we use is from Daterra Estate in Brazil, who lay the benchmark in the world of sustainable coffee farming. Elevated with spirits from The East London Liquor Company, we use a high-quality rum from Guyana, as well as bourbon vanilla and cacao to bring out the coffee's best subtle flavours. Using our expertise in coffee, we’ve created an Espresso Martini that gives you that exact, decadent taste.
Sounds good? If you’d like a bottle - Click here