Hotbox Porter is BACK
Remember hanging with those guys in college who ran out of milk for their cereal and used beer instead? Beerios. It seemed like a bright idea at the time, but not that appealing once everybody sobered up. Here at Oskar Blues Brewery, we have a much better way to give beer a breakfast vibe – Hotbox Porter. Extreme levels of brunchability are reached when cold brew coffee by Hotbox Roasters meets mellow, malty porter in this Autumnal amalgamation of coffee and beer. Hotbox Porter perfectly pairs the two greatest beverages on Earth, featuring robust malts and roasty, dried-fruit coffee flavors, with a solid 6.5% ABV.
Seven different malts are used in the porter, with CaraAroma malt at the core of the recipe. Our Head of Brewing Operations (HOBO), Tim Matthews, regularly visits maltsters to geek out about the technical process of malting, and to get to know the folks making raw materials for our beer on a personal level. The HOBO was visiting Weyermann, a 135-year-old malt house in Bamberg, Germany, in 2015 when he was introduced to CaraAroma malts. “I fell in love with CaraAroma in Bamberg,” said Matthews, with a dreamy, sorta weird, damn-I-love-good-malt type of look on his face. “It’s aromatic and heavy on dark, pitted fruits, and it has a really clean caramel flavor, like the burnt sugars on top of a crème brulee. It’s not widely used, except in dark Belgian beers; but it made perfect sense for Hotbox Porter because I knew it would really make the porter gel with the coffee.” Matthews immediately started sending pushy nerd emails to his team at home saying, “Order CaraAroma right NOW.”
The coffee half of the equation was handled by the bean slangers at Hotbox Roasters. “We brewed enough concentrated cold brew to caffeinate a small village,” joked Mike Murfitt, Hotbox Roasters’ Coffee Guy and Rider of Bikes. They roasted 332 pounds of coffee, ground it, and added it to 256 gallons of water to make a concentrate. Their normal Hotbox Roasters Nitro Cold Brew is made with a 1-1 pound to gallon ratio, so the Hotbox Porter recipe used an even stronger concentrate than their typical puts-hair-on-your-chest caffeine content. “It steeps for 14-18 hours to get the total dissolved solids ratio that we’re looking for,” explained Murfitt. “Once it reaches that, we keg it and the brewers add it to the beer.” The beans used for this year’s batch are a half-and-half mixture of chocolatey, caramel-tasting Mexican coffee beans along with Brazilian beans, which have a fruity flavor profile with notes of figs and dates.
“Hotbox Porter is really balanced without holding back on flavor,” described Matthews. “The coffee doesn’t overwhelm the porter, so the coffee and beer flavors really share the stage. The reasonable ABV keeps it drinkable for warmer days, but the dried fruit flavors in the coffee and the robust malts are indulgent enough for cooler fall nights – think Thanksgiving and bon-fires. It’s a good transition beer.”
Hotbox Porter is coming atchu mid-August, just in time to get you in the mood for tailgates, frost on the trail, breakfast beers on cold mornings, and fall AF stuff like that. Check the Beer Finder to grab a 4-pack near you, or if you’re in the ‘hood, crash the Hotbox Porter release party at one of our Tasty Weasel Taproom locations:
Tasty Weasel Longmont, CO: August 5 at 4:30pm featuring live music by the Hustle Kings, doughnuts and coffee-infused food by Cyclhops Bike Cantina.
Tasty Weasel Austin, TX: August 11 at 4:20pm join us for happy hour for a free brewery tour and a chance to win Hotbox Porter swag. Then stick around for blues, soul and rock n’ roll by Jai Malano starting at 6:30pm.
Tasty Weasel Brevard, NC: August 19, stay tuned for more details