Coffee is fantastic in beer, and it’s been incorporated in many ways. For my first stab at a coffee beer, I decided to go with the tried-and-true: the coffee stout, where the dark roasted coffee echoes the color, taste, and aroma of the dark-roasted malt. I chose to go with Muddy Waters Coast Guard coffee to add a little earthiness and cocoa nib flavor.
However, I wanted to play with largely replacing that third leg of the stool—chocolate—with a nut flavor. Hence, pecans. I learned that in brewing you have to treat nuts with care: roast and blot them to minimize the introduction of oils, which can mess with beer chemistry. I also decided to add a little pecan extract just before bottling to make sure the flavor would really present.
The final result hit on all cylinders – smooth and balanced between the three flavors. I really need to make it again.
Diamond Dog kicked off HLH’s Dog Series (which includes Sasha’s Saga and Tinnitus). Brewdog Bowie came into our lives in Pandemic Summer 2020, and like brewdogs before him needed to have a beer named in his honor. Laura Cristina Araujo, a Brazilian artist I met on the internet, crystalized my concept of Bowie having a pecan-and-latte (or is it beer?) breakfast.
The label features a couple of Easter eggs tipping the hat to Bowie’s musical namesake – can you spot them?
There is very little I could say about David Bowie that hasn’t been said more eloquently by others. His music had a searching spirit that he managed to inject into the mainstream of the culture—the world is a far better place for this. Case in point: if you’ve never heard “Queen Bitch” performed in Portuguese on acoustic guitar by Seu Jorge, you haven’t lived properly.
By happy accident, on Hunky Dory Bowie also sings about coffee.
Woof. This has got to be the best coffee stout I’ve had in my life. My first impression was that it tasted sweet and malty with a velvety finish. And the coffee flavor itself… now those are some good beans! Like the Diamond Dog on the label, I felt guided by my nose and could hardly pull it out of the glass that I had poured this stout into. The smell of it was probably even more intoxicating than the beverage itself. In a perfect world I’d start every day with a glass of one of these. Take a hike, espresso.