Partners in Craft: The Story Behind an Imperial Coffee Stout Collaboration

Today we learn about collaboration in action, with a new imperial coffee stout using coffee from Silverskin Coffee Roasters.

BY VASILEIA FANARIOTI
SPECIAL ONLINE CORRESPONDENT

Photos courtesy of Silverskin Coffee Roasters

Allow us to virtually travel to Dublin, Ireland, where coffee is meeting beer and whiskey in a new creative collaboration between Silverskin Coffee Roasters, Porterhouse Brewing Co., and Dingle Distillery. The trio has teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind coffee stout; this unique brew combines the robust flavors of cold-brewed coffee with the dark richness of a stout and notes of bourbon.

They’re preparing to host a special tasting event, where guests will have the opportunity to experience the story behind this unique beverage. We reached out to them to find out more about the process behind creating the delicious drink, and also to discover what is takes to successfully collaborate and create a product that consumers love.

The back of the coffee stout can explains the brewing process and lists ingredients. It has small symbols indicating a coffee bean, wooden barrel, espresso machine and beer glass.
The new beer is the first barrel-aged imperial coffee stout in Ireland made with cold brew.

Creating an Imperial Coffee Stout

The brewing process took 24 hours to ensure that the malt flavors were concentrated and other complex flavors developed. Ground coffee from Finca Las Amapolas in Guatemala was added at the end of fermentation, giving the beer its coffee taste. To enhance the flavor further, the beer was aged for nine months in Dingle Distillery bourbon casks. Lastly, a cold brew from the same coffee was added to the conditioning tanks before canning.

Showing part of the assembly line of the coffee stout beer cans. Cans are on a belt going past a short metal railing held in place with screws and clamps.
The stout has hints of chocolate, toffee, and vanilla alongside roasted coffee.

Dave Cummins, brand ambassador & sales manager for Porterhouse Brewing Co. & Dingle Distillery, explains that their goal was to create a new unique stout recipe. “We wanted to enhance consumer experience, so we met up with Silverskin, sampled a few coffees, and came to an agreement on which coffee bean would best suit this stout. Customers love local collabs and products that have an added value and a story behind them, and we wanted to offer them that.”

Attention, Dubliners! There’s a coffee/beer/whiskey tasting at Silverskin Coffee Roasters on Dec. 15, complete with drinks, talks, and prizes.

At 13% ABV, the barrel-aged stout is rich and punchy, full of coffee flavor and aroma. The special tasting event on December 15 will showcase the beer. “We will take customers on a sensory journey through the process of how the stout was created by doing a deconstruction of it. They will get to taste each component and learn the story behind it as well. We can’t wait!” Dave says.

Joining Forces for Delicious Results

This is not the first time the three companies have collaborated. A few years ago, Porterhouse Brewing Co. approached Silverskin Coffee Roasters with an idea to create a breakfast stout using their coffee. The beer brewers were looking for a unique way to add complexity and depth of flavor to their existing stout recipes. They felt that the rich and intense flavors of coffee would be the perfect addition.

A hand holds up the Up and at em breakfast coffee stout. The bottle is brown glass, with an alarm clock complete with bells at the top making the label. The hands on the alarm clock read 6 o'clock. The Portehouse logo rests on the top of the clock and it is labeled 6.3% ABV.
Up and At ‘Em has ripe blueberry, sherry-like flavors with notes of hazelnut and dark chocolate.

The result of this collaboration was Up & At ’Em, a rich breakfast stout made with El Roble coffee, from the Salaverria family estate in El Salvador, produced exclusively for Silverskin. The stout went on to win the silver medal in the Dublin Craft Beer Cup. Not long after, Dingle Distillery, owned by the same guys as Porterhouse Brewing Co., provided Silverskin with a Pedro Ximenez sherry cask; the team used it to age coffee for 209 days to create their 209 whiskey-aged coffee.

Brian Kenny, director at Silverskin, explains the process: “We added 5 kilos of Finca Palmichal Colombia and aged the coffee for 209 days. This soaked into the cask in a temperature-, moisture-controlled environment. We used humidifiers to keep the temperature and humidity stable. The result has been a huge success with our customers!”

Two men stand in a warehouse next to a huge barrel labeled whiskey aged coffee. Behind them, on pallets and a metal industrial shelf, are stacked huge bags of green coffee beans.
Aging coffee in barrels is a throwback to the early days of the coffee trade,
when beans shipped in whatever barrels were on hand.

The Power of Successful Collaborations

Collaborations between businesses can be incredibly rewarding, and can create products that are unique to the market. And each of these companies has found success in their collaborations. They say that it comes down to building a strong relationship with one another, respecting each others’ craft, and having trust in their abilities.

Brian of Silverskin points out that the most important element for creating a successful cross-branded product is people. “The same can be said of any relationship, for that matter,” he says. ”The communication and openness of the guys has been the key to our synergy.”

A cardboard box holding the black and silver cans of imperial coffee stout.
The imperial coffee stout is available in liquor stores across Ireland; Craft Central offers international shipping as well.

The collaboration between Porterhouse Brewing Co., Silverskin Coffee Roasters, and Dingle Distillery is an example of how businesses can work together to create unique, high-quality products that customers love. They’re continuing to push the boundaries of whiskey, beer, and coffee together, with another product to be released next year.

If you wish to attend the tasting event in Dublin, you can grab tickets here. All proceeds from the event will be donated to two of Dublin’s hospitals: National Maternity Hospital and Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior online correspondent for Barista Magazine, and a freelance copywriter and editor with a primary focus on the coffee niche. She has also been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, providing content to help educate people about baristas and their work. You can follow her adventures at thewanderingbean.net.

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