UNITED KINGDOM — Following a hugely successful 2017 debut, Siren Craft Brew’s Project Barista is returning with four exciting new beers that continue their annual investigation of coffee’s diversity, intensity, and personality.
Their first 2018 coffee beer, Cold Brew, is a 5% cold-steeped schwarzbier. A take on the classic coffee beer, Cold Brew is dry and light as opposed to sweet. Siren cold steep all the dark grains overnight to develop coffee and chocolate notes with minimal burnt/bitter flavours. A delicate hopping of Amarillo & Ekuanot hops bring some fruitiness to the lager, while Climpson & Sons brazilian coffee really shines through with fudge and caramel notes in abundance.
The big hitter of Project Barista, 9.5% Breakfast Shake, is an Imperial Wheat Stout with Coffee & Cacao, inspired by Siren’s brewer’s breakfast smoothie and is somewhat of a Dunkel Weiss/Imperial Stout hybrid! A classic German wheat beer yeast is used to offer banana notes, while Siren use 13 different speciality malts to drive rich coffee and chocolate flavours. Cacao husks and cacao nibs layer up yet more chocolate notes. Climpson & Son’s Brasil espresso is a beautifully rounded coffee and adds a real nuttiness to the beer.
6.2% Capheine is back, this year minus the raspberries to really let the hibiscus and berry-led coffee shine. Siren kettle sour this hibiscus coffee sour to a pH of around 3.5 before the boil, with further acidity coming from the coffee post-fermentation. Brewing and adding hot-brewed coffee is a painstaking manual process, in a beer which ironically is the least obvious coffee beer of the series. The result is a beautifully layered sour beer bursting with berry and floral flavours.
Affogato is a 6% Coffee & Ice Cream Ale. The base beer here is pale, fermented to leave a touch of residual sugar and then loaded up with lactose to offer ice-cream like body and the perception of sweetness. Vanilla goes in for the full ice-cream affect, as well as Cypress wood. The wood spirals lend an undertone of vanilla wafer that complements the beer, but also gives us complexity and a rounded character that completely balances the beer. All this works with the coffee to create a unique, style-defying drink that we hope will fascinate and delight. Recommended food pairing: Biscotti, of course!