The first beer to return for our 10th Anniversary Celebrations is First Press!
First brewed in 2018, First Press was the first time we ever mixed coffee and beer. It has become a favourite amongst our fans and this is the sixth time we’ve brewed it!
We initially partnered with Timbertrain as our coffee roaster but the past few iterations have been a collaboration with local New West resident and roaster Kevin McConnell of Ghost Roaster Coffee.
What we love about this beer.
What we love about making this beer is that it reminds us of the first time we collaborated with someone who wasn’t another brewery! The fact that we can change the flavour of beer while using other ingredients such as locally roasted coffee, chocolate, freshly picked fruit, or even sourdough bread, opens up a world of other “makers” who enjoy the same things we do. Cultivating something tasty for others to enjoy.
About the taste.
We love the smooth, chocolatey, roasty dark qualities of First Press’ base and how the rotating coffee roast changes absolutely everything else about it. Each time we brew it, it’s like making it for the first time. Which is fun when the main goal of brewing is normally to replicate previous batches exactly the same.
This year’s batch is made with El Salvador Boza Family San Antonio Amatepec Maragogype Natural roasted by Ghost Roaster. It has notes of milk chocolate wafer, light honey and peach candy. Layer that on top of our base stout and hold onto your fucking hat, this is a delicious brew.
How we do it.
We make cold brew with the coffee first and then add it into the First Press base post fermentation. We find that by making cold brew it helps to de-bitter the roast so that you get the flavours of the coffee while allowing the bitterness to come from the beer itself, not the coffee. This technique also allows us to control the outcome a little more as we can blend the cold brew in, taste, blend some more in, etc.
If you’ve read this far you’re an absolute champion and we’ll lay down some info about this 2024 coffee roast.
From Kevin at Ghost Roaster: Ghost Roaster Coffee is a tiny roasting operation! An enthusiastic project to bring thoughtfully sourced, small batch roasted coffee to folks from Kevin McConnell. Find Ghost Roaster Coffee on Instagram @ghostroastercoffee and say hello. Thanks for being rad and drinking tasty coffee from small producers!
About the coffee: San Antonio Amatepec, an urban coffee farm in operation since 1970, focuses on sustainable specialty coffee production. They’re proud members of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA). When the Boza Family acquired the farm in El Salvador, it was afflicted by roya disease, requiring intensive restoration. Maragogype plants, despite their massive size, are delicate and vulnerable to various threats. The family’s ongoing dedication led them to collect seeds and initiate a long-term project to nurture the farm back to life.
I have been really admiring how Karla Boza shares and educates about her family farm in El Salvador for the last few years.
She is a dedicated advocate for focusing on producers and for speaking openly about the power imbalance often seen between buyers and producers. I reached out to her almost two years ago now and I am grateful to have the opportunity this year to be able to roast coffee from her family farm!
First Press is available in our Tasting Room and liquor stores who love unique cold brew coffee stouts!
As we turn 10, we have decided to only brew our favourites of the past 10 years or collaborate with friends who have helped us along the way. We hope you’ve enjoyed First Press more than once, but if this is your first time, cheers!
If you’d like to vote on beers you’d like to see us make again this year, hit up our Beer Library and make your selections!
Steel & Oak, celebrating our favourite beers of the past 10 years.