As we entered the 20th Century, a majority of the coffee being consumed in the United States was being roasted and consumed in people’s homes. While I can’t attest to the quality of the green coffee being roasted, I can guess that folks became very good roasters, and could custom tailor their roasting to match their tastes. And of course, they were crafting the freshest coffee available.
At the same time, our young country boasted over 3000 of what we would now call micro-breweries. Every town of any size had a local brewer who provided libations for the area using locally sourced ingredients, for that is all that was available.
And then we became industrialized and moved as quickly as we could to globalize. Our lives became busy and fast paced. Our coffee started coming to us roasted and ground in cans found on store shelves. The coffee in those cans became the inexpensive, low grown, bitter, robusta variety. The beer, too, went into cans found on store shelves, brewed in the larger cities of the Midwest. The brewing ingredients also shifted in quality and variety, becoming dominated by rice instead of malts and barley. Cheap and convenient trumped craft and quality.
Fortunately, we have recently checked ourselves. We are realizing that cheap ingredients moving great distances doesn’t make sense, not for our environment, and not for our quality of life. We are getting back to a time where production and consumption are happening on a much more local level, and the quality of those products is at an all-time high. It is very easy to find coffee roasted close to home that is less than a week old, and you can barely throw a stone without hitting a local brewery it seems (at least for us at Bonfire as our roasting facility is directly above Casey Brewing and Blending in Glenwood Springs). The craft roasting movement is bringing better quality coffee to your cup, and putting more back into the regions where the coffee is grown, than ever before. We have finally got back to where we were at the turn of the 20th Century with over 3000 micro-breweries who are taking a larger and larger share of the domestic beer market.
So what better way to celebrate these craft movements than to put them together on a local level. Serendipitously, Bonfire Coffee was approached in the same week by Glenwood Canyon BrewPub and Roaring Fork Beer Company to collaborate on putting coffee and beer together. The brewers joined us at the cupping table at our roasting facility to hone in on the coffees and roast profile that would best compliment the beers they had in mind. Then, after throwing in some faith and gut instinct, the coffees were worked into the brew processes at each brewery. The excitement in the brewers voices as the beer came out of conditioning let me know that we had all applied our knowledge of the tools and materials of our trades to create beautiful, delicious craft products.
GLENWOOD CANYON BREWPUB
402 7th St, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Order the "Café Brebaje"
Being locally produced small batch products, these beers won’t last long; get in and get them while you can. In the case of the Glenwood Canyon BrewPub, you will be looking for the "Café Brebaje," a delightful porter, which lived up to the goal of the project brewer, Cody Nelson, in being a “coffee forward” porter. Unlike so many others, you won’t miss the coffee in this one.
ROARING FORK BEER COMPANY
1941 Dolores Way, Carbondale, CO 81623
Order the "Get Up Get Down"
Over at Roaring Fork Beer Company you will want to order "Get Up Get Down," an intense Imperial Porter that goes down a little too easy for a beer checking in at 8% ABV, but then again, that is exactly what brewer, Chase Engel, had in mind.
Both beers are on the nitro taps yielding a creamy mouthfeel bordering on a rich coffee dessert.
Don’t miss your opportunity to get in and check out these exceptional beers that will take you back to the craft and quality of the Golden Age of coffee and beer in our country. Drink up!