A delicious, jet-black beer with a distinctive coffee flavor and aroma, Whole Hog Espresso Stout is year-round beer available now in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles and on draft in 16 states where Point’s Whole Hog products are sold, mainly in the Midwest and on the East Coast.
Point Brewmaster Gabe Hopkins brews Whole Hog Espresso Stout using roasted barley malts, caramel and dark chocolate malts, Palisade hops from the Pacific Northwest, and two kinds of coffee beans supplied by Milwaukee’s Valentine Coffee Roasters: whole Sumatra coffee beans and Valentine’s special proprietary blend of espresso beans.
Point Partners with Valentine Coffee Roasters
To select the right coffee beans for brewing Whole Hog Espresso Stout, the Point Brewery collaborated with Robb Kashevarof and Joe Gilsdorf of Valentine Coffee Roasters (http://valentinecoffeeco.com/) Hopkins traveled to Valentine’s tasting room and roasting operation on Milwaukee’s west side to sample various coffees and learn about coffee brewing methods. Gilsdorf and Kashevarof, in turn, visited the Point Brewery to learn about its handcrafted specialty craft beers.
Kashevarof, Valentine’s Owner and President, characterized the process as finding the sweet spot. “We recognized that Stevens Point Brewery has a commitment to quality and balance just as we have,” he said. “It’s all about finding the right balance, and the coffee beans we selected deliver just the right balance of flavor for the malts Gabe uses for Whole Hog Espresso Stout. The result is an extraordinary beer that is much greater than the sum of its parts.”
“The Sumatra beans add a touch of fruitiness to the flavor, which distinguishes Whole Hog Espresso Stout from other coffee beers in the marketplace,” Hopkins said. “When you taste Whole Hog Espresso Stout, you first encounter chocolate notes plus the fruity notes from the Sumatra coffee on the front end. On the back end you experience the delicate roasted coffee flavor and aromatics contributed by the espresso beans.”
The bitter elements of Whole Hog Espresso Stout’s flavor profile represent coffee bitterness, not hop bitterness from the Palisade hops, said Hopkins, who advises coffee stout lovers to seek Whole Hog Espresso Stout on draft dispensed with nitrogen, which imparts a seductive softness and creaminess to the beer.
Coffee beers are a small but growing segment of the craft beer industry, according to Joe Martino, Stevens Point Brewery Operating Partner. The coffee beer category at the recent 2014 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, the U.S. craft brewing industry’s annual celebration, featured 116 entries; there were just 52 coffee category entries at the 2010 festival.
“Coffee and stout play together well, and we think Whole Hog Espresso Stout will appeal especially to stout fans who love their coffee,” Martino said. “Whole Hog Espresso Stout is a hearty, satisfying brew and we are proud and excited to team up with Valentine Coffee Roasters for this exceptional addition to our Whole Hog Limited Edition series of beers.”
Point’s handcrafted specialty beers
The Whole Hog Limited Edition brews, handcrafted in small batches to appeal to the most discerning craft-beer aficionados and round out the Stevens Point Brewery’s portfolio of craft beers, represent the epitome of the brewmaster’s art.
In addition to Whole Hog Espresso Stout, the year-round Whole Hog beers include Whole Hog Six-Hop India Pale Ale, an India Pale Ale and Whole Hog Wee Heavy Scotch Ale. Seasonal offerings include Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout in the spring months, Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale, a fall seasonal that won the bronze medal in the pumpkin beer category at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival, and Whole Hog Barley Wine for the winter months.
Point’s portfolio includes flagship Point Special Lager, a premium American lager; Point Onyx Black Ale, a robust dark ale; Point Belgian White, a Belgian-style wheat ale; Point Cascade Pale Ale, an American-style pale ale; Point Amber Classic, an American-style amber lager; and Point Beyond the Pale IPA, a robust, hoppy India Pale Ale. Point also brews four year-round IPAs available only in its IPA variety 12-pack: Point Spruce Tip IPA, sweetened with Colorado blue spruce tips; Point Peach Mango IPA, a lively, fruity ale; Point White IPA, a golden brew flavored with Japanese Sorachi Ace hops; and Point One Shot IPA, a series of limited-edition brews featuring different hop varieties and malts in each batch.
The brewery’s seasonal beers include Point Oktoberfest, a Bavarian-style M├ñrzen beer for the fall; Point St. Benedict’s Winter Ale, a rich, dark beer available from November through February; Point Coast Radler, a thirst-quenching mix of beer and natural citrus flavors for the summer; and Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat, a refreshing, award-winning unfiltered wheat ale.
Point also brews four unique James Page specialty beers sold only in convenient 12-ounce cans: A Cappella Gluten-free Pale Ale, Casper White Stout, Yhaba Dhaba Chai Tea Porter and Ould Sod Irish Red Ale.
In addition to award-winning beers, Stevens Point Brewery produces gourmet sodas, including Point Premium Root Beer, Point Premium Diet Root Beer, Point Premium Orange Cream, Point Premium Vanilla Cream, Point Kitty Cocktail and Point Premium Black Cherry Cream Soda.
For more information about the Stevens Point Brewery, founded in 1857, visit www.pointbeer.com or call (715) 344-9310. Tours of the brewery are available, with schedules listed on the Web site.