Joining what has now officially become a trend, Fort Worth's Rahr & Sons Brewing Company and Avoca Coffee will release a coffee beer called Iron Joe, with a celebratory tapping at Avoca on February 12.
In the past month, Deep Ellum Brewing Company has released a coffee beer, in partnership with Oak Cliff Coffee. So has Community Beer, in partnership with Ascension. That makes three. Three is a trend.
"We've been slowly refining the process with Rahr, and I think this is our best release yet," says Avoca owner Garold LaRue.
But as Avoca owner Garold LaRue reminds us, Rahr's Iron Joe came first. "This is probably the third year we've done it," he says. "We've been slowly refining the process with Rahr, and I think this is our best release yet."
It starts with a run of Rahr's Iron Thistle, brewed in barrels. Then the coffee is added in the form of a coffee extract formulated by Larue. The brew is transferred to whiskey barrels, which add their own layers of complexity.
"The flavors imbued from the whiskey barrels are all complementary," LaRue says. "You get caramel, toffee, all blended together into a nice ale."
They've tweaked the recipe every year. "After the first year, everyone said, 'Can we get more coffee?'" LaRue says. "The next year it was 'Okay, we want more chocolate.'"
They've kept the ABV low – under 7 percent. "We’re trying to make it so everyone can get into it," LaRue says.