Kauai Coffee fans know how well our smooth, island-grown coffees pair with various meals, desserts, and libations. From brunch staples to freshly-baked cookies and locally-made rum, we love crafting unique pairings and partnerships. That’s why we are excited to announce our latest collaboration and add craft beer to the list for the first time. Our friends and neighbors at Kauai Island Brewery have crafted a coffee oatmeal stout using 100% Kauai Coffee Mundo Novo beans. We sat down with Brewery owner Bret Larson to get the inside scoop on the new brew.
Coffee + Oatmeal = Breakfast Beer
Located in Port Allen, just a few minutes south of the Kauai Coffee Farm, Kauai Island Brewery is the westernmost brewery in the USA. They have been brewing award-winning craft beer on Kauai for more than 22 years. According to Bret, a “breakfast beer” is a common type of beer that integrates the flavor profiles of popular breakfast items such as oatmeal and coffee. “We have wanted to brew a coffee oatmeal stout for some time to make a breakfast beer,” said Larson. “We’re neighbors, so of course, Kauai Coffee company was the first company that came up when we thought about which coffee to use in our beer,” he continued.
Earlier this year, Bret and his team reached out to Mike Shimatsu, Kauai Coffee Roast Plant Manager and Q grader, to inquire about what coffee would make the best pair. “Mike told us about the unique character of the Mundo Novo coffee, and we were intrigued by its medium body, bold flavor, and nutty undertones,” noted Larson. ” We didn’t want to use an overpowering coffee that would mask the subtleness of the Munich malt character profile, but rather one that would compliment the rich malty aroma and notes of light caramel, honey, and bread,” he continued.
Brewing Coffee and Beer
Once the Mundo Novo coffee was selected, the brewing process could begin. Mike and the Kauai Coffee team ground fresh beans and were invited to the brewery to see the process in action. The first step to making beer is mashing. During this process, the oats and grains needed to brew the beer are steeped in hot water to extract their sugars. Bret and brewmaster Dave Curry added the ground Kauai Coffee during the mashing process. “Mashing is very much like steeping coffee. “We have fine mesh screens at the bottom of our mash tun that catch coffee grounds and strain them out,” Larson explained.
Try Coffee Oatmeal Stout
The coffee oatmeal stout is an ale that takes about 14 days to ferment. Bret expects it to be available in the Port Allen taproom the last week of March or early April. “We’re excited about this beer. Typical stouts use both chocolate and roasted malt, but with our inclusion of Kauai Coffee, we think we will have a unique recipe that sets our beer apart from other stouts,” said Larson.
Kauai Island Brewery is open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Bret hopes to make the stout available in cans someday. However, the packaging is still being developed, so the first round will be available in the taproom only. Stop by for a pint or purchase a growler to take home.
“It has been a pleasure working with the Kauai Coffee team, and we look forward to sharing this beer and to more collaborations in the future. Okole maluna! (Bottoms up!)” said Larson.