San Francisco, CA — Two standout Bay Area stewards of sustainability, ThirstyBear Organic Brewery and Equator Coffees & Teas, team up for the debut release of YEBUNA BIRA (6.8% ABV, 51 IBU). Spawned from a spontaneous craving by ThirstyBear’s Brewmaster Brenden Dobel and his brewing assistant Michael Hoops — both of whom are self-proclaimed coffee enthusiasts — YEBUNA BIRA is the pick-me-up that both craft beer and coffee lovers can revel in. Exclusively available as of June 19 at ThirstyBear Organic Brewery (661 Howard Street, San Francisco), YEBUNA BIRA finishes straight from the serving tank with a rich, luxurious nitrogen conditioning for a latte-like effect. YEBUNA BIRA is the perfect libation that can be enjoyed morning, noon and night!
YEBUNA BIRA (meaning coffee beer in Ethiopian) is brewed with Equator’s fair trade, organic Ethiopian Sidama Ardi from the southern Gudi region. Upon experiencing a “cupping” session at Equator, Dobel selected the varietal out of six organic coffees with the intention of brewing a beer featuring a specific coffee profile; rather than brewing a particular beer style and simply adding coffee. With Ted Stachura (Director of Coffee, Equator Coffees & Teas), Dobel and Hoops’ extensive “cupping” session involved water temperatures, ratios, steeping times, and various organoleptic tasting methods. A clear victor emerged for its delicate floral/lavender notes, along with vanilla, sweet lemon, dark chocolate flavors and creamy mouthfeel.
“When ThirstyBear approached Equator about working together on a coffee-beer, we were excited for the opportunity to collaborate,” says Ted Stachura. “Since ThirstyBear and Equator are both certified to offer organic products, it seemed like a natural match. Brandon and Michael took the time to visit our roasting facility to evaluate various coffee options and discuss their brewing strategy in detail, which meant a great deal to us. We were delighted when they selected a unique, washed process, floral-toned, certified organic coffee from Ethiopia for this beer. The coffee was used in multiple applications during the brewing process, which resulted in a beer with distinct coffee flavor, rather than just a vague flavor nuance.”
“To achieve fully immersed and saturated coffee flavors and aromas, we decided to add the Sidama Ardi at three different stages during the brewing process,” comments Dobel. “10 pounds were added at the end of the boil in the kettle for four minutes. Post fermentation, we added 20 pounds with a ‘dry-hop’ method and steeped for two days at 34*F. When the beer is transferred to the serving tank, we’ll create a ‘cold toddy’ with the amount depending on the coffee flavor we have achieved thus far.”
Dobel carefully selected caramel and chocolate malts that exhibit coffee notes, and established a strong wort the color of coffee. He hopped the brew with fruity Organic Jaryllo and floral Organic El Dorado to complement the notes of the Sidama Ardi. He then fermented with ThirstyBear’s house ale yeast, and YEBUNA BIRA will be served on nitro.
Kick off the summer by coming in to ThirstyBear for a snifter of this extra special single-origin coffee beer!
ThirstyBear Organic, Small Batch Beers Are Available Fresh, Only On Draught, Only At ThirstyBear!
Equator Coffees & Teas
Equator Coffees & Teas is a wholesale coffee roaster, retail operator, and coffee farm owner headquartered in Marin, CA. Founded in 1995 by Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell, Equator’s commitment to a sustainable, transparent approach spans more than two decades. Today, Equator operates five cafes in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration honored Equator by naming us the “National Small Business of the Year.” Since its founding, Equator has been a leader in sustainability and social responsibility. In 2011, Equator formalized its commitment to sustainability by becoming a certified B Corporation, making it the first California coffee roaster to do so.
About ThirstyBear Brewing Co.
Established in 1996, ThirstyBear Organic Brewery is the first and only brewery in San Francisco to brew certified organic beer and become a certified Green Business. Born out of Founding Brewmaster Ron Silberstein’s commitment to support sustainable agriculture, ThirstyBear brews CCOF and FDA certified organic beer. ThirstyBear sources its hops and grains from the world’s most renowned malt houses and premier West Coast organic hop farms to provide innovative, distinctive and always delicious flavors. ThirstyBear pairs its hand-crafted beers with equally exquisite Spanish cuisine. Since 2002, Silberstein has collaborated with Brewmaster and Certified Cicerone Brenden Dobel to define a singular German-influenced West Coast style of brewing, with a special emphasis on pilsners, ales, IPAs, stouts, Belgian-inspired ales, cask conditioned ales, session beers, and barrel aged brews. Dobel’s expertise with German beer styles is the result of his extensive training at Doemens Brewing Academy in Munich, Germany.
As one of the first critically acclaimed Spanish tapas restaurants to open in the Bay Area, ThirstyBear’s Executive Chef Robert McCarthy serves some of the City’s top paella, tapas, charcuterie/cheese and beer pairings, flatbreads, 100% grass-fed beef burgers, and specialty dishes prepared not only with beer, but with beer’s raw ingredients (hops, malts, yeast). In addition to its constantly rotating lineup of specialty, seasonal and classic craft beers, ThirstyBear also proudly serves local wines from kegs to reduce its overall carbon footprint.
According to the Brewers Association, which keeps the most comprehensive information on craft breweries in the United States, ThirstyBear brews and serves more craft beer in-house than any other brewpub in San Francisco. ThirstyBear celebrated its 20th Anniversary in September 2016 as San Francisco’s longest operating brewery-restaurant.