The Son of a Baptist season is going out with a bang and a barrel. Over the past few months we've partnered with 14 outstanding small-batch coffee roasters to explore the innovative flavors of American coffee in craft beer. That time was filled with sensory panels on countless coffees, tons of amazing beer, jitters and a lot of learning in the process. To finish off the season we’ve teamed up with Portola Coffee Lab out of Southern California and Hotbox Roasters from Longmont, Colorado for two final, very special batches.
Born from passion, Portola Coffee Lab is the brainchild of owner and roastmaster Jeff Duggan and his wife Christa. A propeller-head rooted in science and technology, Jeff’s approach to roasting and brewing is focused on quality – uncompromising quality. We selected their Terra Incognita espresso blend which is comprised of Ethiopian Harrar and Colombian Cauca beans. The two differ in their processing, dry for the Ethiopian and wet for the Columbian. The resulting blend is floral with prominent notes of ripe red fruit, dark chocolate and smooth caramel. From start to finish the cup is poised, precise, and refined, and as its name suggests, reveals the natural flavors of each region. This release will be available on nitro and CO2 draft as well as in 22oz bottles in Southern California.
Our latest partnership is with Hotbox Roasters, founded by Dale Katechis of Oskar Blues. We were lucky enough to sample an ultra-limited Tequila barrel-aged Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, and it blew our minds. The coffee explodes with bold flavors, the expected blueberry and pomegranate from the bean's natural processing combined with an impressive amount of agave and smoke imparted by its time in the tequila barrel. After the first cup we knew we had to use it in Son of Baptist and the results are striking, to say the least.
This collaboration represents a nexus of synergetic connections crisscrossing the beverage world, and could be the poster child for upcycling. The tequila barrel started its life out in Mexico aging premium spirits before being retired to Oskar Blues, where it was used to produce GUBNA. After that, it was sent to Hotbox for their barrel-aged coffee project, and the resulting beans are now showcased in Son of Baptist.
Barrel-aged coffee beans were a completely new concept for us. We had no idea that coffee beans could absorb so much aroma and barrel character. We are stoked on what those beans brought to Son of a Baptist and we are excited to explore more barrel-aged beans in the future. This release will be served on draft and in 22oz bottles in Colorado, and in other select markets.
Meanwhile, other small batches have recently hit their markets, including: the Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, Ethiopian Moka Harrar batch in Ohio, Larry’s Coffee with Peruvian beans in North Carolina, Rowster Coffee featuring their Milky Way blend in Michigan, and the release made with Misha’s Coffee, Costa Rican beans in Washington D.C.
The project will be taking a hiatus for the summer as we turn our attention to other beers in development. Son of a Baptist will return late in the year with the nation-wide release of 12oz cans. We will continue to feature new roasters for each release as well as producing nitro draft for full distribution to the 21 states Epic is represented in. We want to thank all the roasters that we have had the pleasure of working with so far. For a full list of the batches, roasters, beans and roasts used in the Son of a Baptist project please click here.