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L.A. Ale Works thanks Kickstarter friends with a rich coffee porter

L.A. Ale Works’ Jon Rockwell and Kristophor Barnes
L.A. Ale Works’ Jon Rockwell and Kristophor Barnes with one of their crowd-funded tanks.
(Kristophor Barnes / Los Angeles Ale Works)

Kickstarter has become a popular tool for hopeful brewers and business people attempting to start producing beer, and last March Los Angeles Ale Works was one of the first L.A.-area operations to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. The partners used the funds to purchase critical equipment that’s now housed at Ohana Brewing Co.’s downtown L.A. brewery, and the first brew to use the crowd-funded gear is hitting taps around town.

The Buttress of Windsor is a rich coffee porter that uses rye grains for added complexity and locally roasted beans from True & Brave Coffee Roasters for a big java kick. Like the first three batches from Los Angeles Aleworks (LAAW), the new beer was brewed at Ohana’s brewhouse, but this was the first brew to use the dedicated 15BBL stainless steel fermenter purchased with the LAAW Kickstarter funds. The brewers then adorned the fermenter with an engraved plaque listing the campaign’s backers.

LAAW founder Kristofor Barnes says: “We want to be community-focused and involve people. We wanted to do something [for a Kickstarter reward] that everyone could afford, and feel like no matter how much they pledged, they were part of it.”

Not content to simply take the Kickstarter money, thank their backers and start brewing beer, the LAAW team also asked backers to vote on what their next commercial brew should be. The coffee porter beat out the other options in a landslide, and the brewers quickly scrambled to find a local roaster who could help the Buttress of Windsor stand out from L.A.’s other popular coffee brews.

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The results are an inky brew that smells like a hot cup of black coffee. The flavors follow the appearance and aroma with a deep and complex roasted character, a hint of acidity and a dry finish that compels you to take another sip.

L.A. has no shortage of great coffee beers - from Smog City’s Groundwork Coffee Porter to  Beachwood Brewing’s System of a Stout, and the new brew from Los Angeles Ale Works is a robust addition to the crowded field. 

Watch the Los Angeles Ale Works Facebook page for details on upcoming events where you can try the Buttress of Windsor, follow the brewer on Twitter to hear when the beer gets tapped around town, or check its website for a list of bars that should carry the beer.

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