Beer? You love it. Coffee? Imperative. Brunch? A perfect excuse to drink before noon without feeling like Charles Bukowski. Notch has combined all three in the first ever collaboration beer with Drink Craft Beer! The guys from Drink Craft Beer (Jeff and Devon) were having a few pints with me and asked if I’d be interested in a collaboration, something I’ve never entertained but certainly would be all for if it made sense. Well, they had a pretty cool concept, I thought I could add to the fun, and it fit within my only requirement – session beer ABV. Drink Craft Beer also had the idea to kick this beer off with a beer release brunch! The coffee milk stout collaboration beer was born.
The “breakfast stout” we have become accustomed to is not really something you can have for breakfast without a nap shortly thereafter due to the 8+% ABV. Sure, it has caffeine, but it’s not what you would call a day drinker. How about a real breakfast type stout? One you could knock back 3 or 4 on a Sunday brunch and keep your wits about you? But more than simply mixing coffee and beer, let’s put some milk and sugar in that coffee beer, or in this case milk sugar (aka lactose). And, what’s breakfast without some oatmeal? So, a significant portion of the grist includes flaked oats. That, in its essence, is the Notch / DCB collaboration beer – a coffee milk stout with a healthy dose of oatmeal in the grist, served cask-conditioned, with a low enough ABV to have for breakfast.
Before the brewing day details, let’s talk about the fun. This Saturday at the Lower Depths, we’ll be hosting a brunch. That’s right, a beer release brunch, because session beer is your AM friend. At 11:30AM we’ll tap the first cask of the Notch / DCB Coffee Milk Stout at 3.7% ABV, and serve it in a 20 oz coffee mug! The mug is a clear glass mug, with DCB / Notch logos that you’ll be able to take home. We’re generous in that way. The Lower Depths will be serving their legendary brunch, while serving the collaboration coffee milk stout through their new beer engine. And, if you find yourself looking for something to do after the brunch, join us for the Bacon and Beer Festival at the House of Blue at 2:30PM. Yes, more beer, more bacon. It’s an epic type day in the making. And I hate the word “epic”.
So for the brew day, we headed to Notch’s brewing outpost in Kennebunk Maine (if you are at all familiar with Notch, you know the deal) where I create my one-off cask only beers, as the Notch / DCB beer was a perfect fit for a cask beer. Too many words already, so the photos will guide you through the brew day.
And the racking day.
I know some are tired of beer collaborations, and some are cynical because it’s typically a marketing move by expanding brewers (one brewery wants brand exposure and legitimacy in a geographic area where they are looking to expand distribution). But screw it, this beer will only be in the Boston area and there is so little of it (12 casks), no one will notice it anyway. The Notch / DCB collaboration is simply friends looking to have a bit of fun. And we need more of that in our craft beer world.