Intelligentsia Coffee is gearing up for its inaugural coffee beer event, Uppers & Downers, at its Pasadena location, bringing together several renowned brewers for a tasting (including the rare Dark Lord) and panel to discuss the trend of using coffee in beers.
In collaboration with Good Beer Hunting, Intelligentsia is to present the renowned Dark Lord from Indiana brewery Three Floyds; a Russian Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, molasses and honey and usually available only once a year, on Dark Lord Day; as well as Bourbon County Stout from Chicago's Goose Island, aged in bourbon barrels and made with a different Intelligentsia coffee each year.
"Both stouts have crazy followings," said Stephen Morrissey, Intelligentsia's director of communications. "I sort of can't get over it.
"We've become friends with Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting and wondered, has anyone ever hosted an event that examined this whole trend of coffee beer. Is it a novelty, or is there more behind it?"
Thus was born Uppers & Downers (so named because coffee beer is a way to start your day and end it, all in one glass). It's set for Saturday, Oct. 19 (7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), and Kiser is to lead a discussion with brewers from Three Floyds, Solemn Oath, Lost Abbey, Stone, Firestone Walker, Angel City and Goose Island, exploring the science of brewing with coffee.
They also are to discuss how to craft the perfect roast for beers and what ways can the inherent flavors of coffee be best extracted.
Stouts and porters dominate the coffee beer category, but the talk will also touch on how coffee can be incorporated into the production of other beer styles, such as IPAs, brown ales, ambers, even saisons?
During the talk, attendees will have the opportunity to taste a variety of styles made with different processes and formulations for coffee beers.
Meanwhile, the Pasadena location has a beer and wine license, and, according to Morrissey, will continue to have a selection of coffee beers available.
"We won't be just carrying coffees made with Intelligentsia," he said, but expect future collaborations with L.A. brewers.
Tickets for Uppers & Downers are $95 and are available online.
Intelligentsia Pasadena, 55 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, www.intelligentsiacoffee.com.