My friend Matt Brown at Coava Coffee Roasters in Portland, Ore., just let me in on some sweet news: Coava has partnered with one of our favorite Oregon brewers, Fort George, out of Astoria, to create a single origin coffee IPA called Java the Hop.
I’m stoked! Personally, IPA is my very favorite kind of beer. I always get a little lost in an espresso stout. Of course, we all have our different preferences. But I just have to say, Holla!
So this beer is 6.7%, first of all, so go easy. But it’ll be hard because this thing is going to have some serious sweetness on it. Matt says that instead of the way a lot of coffee beers are made—which involve blending different hops together with different coffees—Java the Hop is single origin all the way: It brings together Amarillo Hops grown by Virgil Gamache Farms in Washington, which were chosen for their “complex aromatics and evened bittering traits.” Coava came to the table with a specially roasted natural-process coffee from the Kochere Cooperative in Ethiopia, chosen for its citrus notes. “The result is a deliciously balanced and delightfully unique IPA that stands head and shoulders above average coffee beers,” reads the official press release.
I love a good party almost as much as a good beer, so I was extra pumped when Matt told me about a release party that Coava and Fort George are hosting at the White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th Ave., Portland, Oregon, on January 23 from 6–9 p.m. I’ll be there—I’ll be there at, like, 5:30, waiting to get in the door.
I wanted to ask Matt some questions of my own about how Java the Hop came into being. Here’s our conversation:
Sarah: How did this idea for collaboration with Fort George come about?
Matt: The collaboration came out of a program that Fort George started last year. They essentially decided that they wanted all of their seasonal beers to highlight Northwest craftsmen. They’ve done beers with other breweries, as well as folks like Next Adventure [an outdoor activities store similar to REI but original to the Northwest and offering new as well as used goods]. They said we were the logical next choice since they are fans of our coffee and they know we love beer and working with folks outside of the coffee industry. In the past we’ve partnered with wood-working companies, clothing brands, and of course brewing companies, but never anything quite on the scope of what we’re doing with Java the Hop.