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Collaboration: Cascara Saison

Five Senses CoffeeMitchell Fink 16 December 2017

Like most Aussies, I’ve got more than a passing interest in beer. So, when I got news that we were collaborating with local craft breweries for a special Christmas project, I immediately made sure that I was involved!

Nicole and I were the team behind the Western Australian part of this project, and after a bit of conversation about what we should do, we had one thing certain. We wanted to make a coffee inspired beer, that didn’t have any coffee in it. We wanted to make something that was equal parts unique, delicious, and very, very drinkable.

After a lot of tasty product research (I swear, it’s a hard job!), we landed on local brewery, Black Brewing Co, who’s focus on delicious, sessionable beers was a perfect match for what we were trying to create. We invited the team around to our Northbridge Barista Academy, and told them about the concept. They were immediately on board, and after a bit of conversation, loved the idea of making a light, refreshing coffee beer that used cascara, the dried husk of the coffee cherry, in conjunction with a sweet, bright saison style beer.

We exchanged coffee cascara and beer, and the deal was cemented!

A few weeks later, and it was brew day. Nicole and I made the 3-hour road trip Douth to Black Brewing Co’s gorgeous estate.

Head brewer, Shann, welcomed us into the brewery and gave us the grand tour. Shortly after, he put us to work, taste testing some ciders fresh off the production line. Once everything was in order on the production side of things, we moved over to the brewery.

Shann gave us a crash course in brewing, and directed us through the entirety of the process. Whilst technically, we did everything, he was definitely the one behind the steering wheel (thanks mate!).

Once we’d created the mash, we added our secret ingredient, 4.5kgs of Las Lajas Costa Rican Cascara to brew with 1000L of wort for 4 hours at 95 degrees Celsius, whilst we did add some hops to the mix to provide balance, we added a relatively small amount so that the cascara could be the star of the show.

From there, the beer was filtered and cooled, the yeast was added, and it was placed into a fermentation tank to brew. At this point, all the work on our part was done, and the rest of the process was in the hands of the very capable Black Brewing Co team.

A few weeks later, and our beer arrived at the roastery. Unfortunately, Nicole and I were both in Melbourne for the Q graders course. However, Five Senses employs a very talented team, who aren’t just experts at tasting coffee, but at tasting beers too. We received very positive comments, and we breathed a sigh of collective relief.

We’re extremely proud to share this beer with you over your holiday break. Get yourself a 6 pack here. The ripe banana qualities of a saison style beer pair wonderfully, with the fruity, herbaceous notes of cascara.

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