Portland’s Coava Coffee Roasters and their friends at Fort George Brewery out of Astoria, Ore., debuted the highly anticipated Java the Hop coffee beer they created together last night at the White Owl Social Club in Portland.
I had been waiting to taste this beer since I first heard about it. I’m leery of coffee beers in general because they’re often really heavy, and I’m not a stout or porter fan. I’m an IPA girl all the way. So when I heard that this beer that Coava and Fort George were making was an IPA, I was totally stoked. And last night when I had my first pint of it, I freakin fell in love.
THIS BEER IS AMAZING. The coffee head on it is totally chocolatey and intense, and then the beer goes does like an IPA should: hoppy, a little sweet, rich but smooth and bright. I’m going out to buy a whole bunch of it today at New Seasons Market, because they didn’t make very much of it and it’s going to sell out soon.
The release party was super awesome, too. It was hosted by Sizzle Pie and the White Owl Social Club, as well as Coava and Fort George. It was a really cool mix of coffee people, beer people, and just all kinds of connected Portland people—I even ran into a woman I used to write with back when I was on staff The Oregonian, Vivian McInerny.
There were a ton of people inside and out at the White Owl (this place has an awesome back patio, complete with fire pit). You bought drink tickets at the bar and then went out back to the kegs for pints of the Java the Hop. Awesome.
I had a great conversation with Coava owner Matt Higgins, who already has another coffee beer project in the works. He explained to me how the coffee got infused: they soaked the beans for like 2 days. Wicked! He said the beans were “like noodles” at the end of the soaking. All the yumminess from the Kochere Natural from Ethiopia got sucked out for the beer.
So it was a great party and a really awesome beer. If you’re around the Pacific Northwest, I recommend you get yours before it’s gone. This is a damn fine beer.