Electric Owl Buzzzz

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Fall beers are kinda tough to begin with. I mean, sure, we make a fair number of seasonally appropriate beers, but the Bay Area suffers from not really having anything resembling a real autumn season. In fact, our winter is like four straight months of rainy ass autumn, and then September and October are chock-full of beach days.

So the predicament of making traditional hearty and malty beers seems, to some extent, foolhardy when it’s still 80 degrees outside. Sure, we opted to keep Kick Back rolling through October for that reason, but when the challenge of sandwiching a beer between War Pigeon and Jolly Rodger for those two bizarro months, we end up having to split the baby between what the weather calls for and what we really want in “fall beer season.”

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The last couple years, Jolly Rodger has been a coffee beer. We love making coffee beer, but we didn’t want to pigeonhole Jolly Rodger into a specific style, so we went in a different direction (more on that at a later date). Hence, Electric Owl was born.

We started with the idea of not just adding coffee to an already great beer—something we’ve done plenty of times—but using the coffee almost as a core ingredient. No, we definitely did not add coffee to the mash. The spirit of the beer starts in South America. Patagonia. We may have been on a spirit walk through the Peruvian highlands when the recipe came to us in a hallucination, as an owl shrieked from a nearby tree. Patagonian roasted malts have a unique character and terroir, similar to many of the traditional English malts.

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It wasn’t a prerequisite that the coffee be South American, but it made a lot of sense. We searched high and low, and ended up in SoMa, doing cartwheels after tasting way too many coffees when we fell madly in love with a Colombian coffee from our friends at Sightglass. It certainly wasn’t the only coffee we ogled over, but it was spot-on for this beer.

We wanted a light roast coffee that was bright enough to cut through the caramel sweetness and fruity enough to add more depth to the roasty notes of the beer. “El Meridiano” hails from a small village in the Tolima coffee region of Colombia where a collective of over 50 small farmers come together to release around 1500 bags of this blend annually. Make yourself a cup and you’ll get comforting notes of stone fruit, honey, orange zest and toffee.

Sightglass has been sourcing El Meridiano for over 4 years, with each harvest yielding exceptionally consistent and beautiful coffee. Stability in coffee can be elusive at times, and we fully recognize the group’s dedicated efforts in providing us with standout lots year round” says Sightglass Production Manager Joe Towery about the roast,

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There really are some great parallels between the passion and artfulness many small, independent coffee roasters have and craft beer. We might not profess to know much about the technical aspects of making coffee, but watching roasters passionately in their element is as familiar to us as mashing in an IPA.

With two pounds of coffee per barrel, Electric Owl hits your nose like a blast of rich, cold-brewed coffee, toffee, and caramel. The 8% ABV is well-hidden and the beer rounds out with a creamy medium body, a zing of citrus, orange peel and honeyed sweetness. If you love coffee like we do, we recommend you try some for yourself.

Available September through November throughout California, Portland, Seattle and Northern Nevada.

Comments

  1. So far I accept this Drake’s Electric Owl. I’m takin it down right now. I also love coffee. I feel like someone just dumped cold coffee into my beer and stirred but now the tastes are starting to meld.

    Well done, an acquired taste indeed. I will promote and approve this beer. Thank You.

    Question with a small challenge: Drakes…can you make a rival beer to compete or respect the Elysian Jasmine Avatar ? Please experiment!

    Keep up the hard work. /hug.

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