Grab A Beer: Trade Route Sumatra Coffee Stout

January 4th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Beer Reviews, Washington Breweries

Trade Route Sumatra Coffee Stout
Alcohol by Volume: 6.3%
Find this beer and more at Full Throttle Bottles in Georgetown.

Intro: After starting out in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle, Trade Route Brewing Company moved their operations down to Pacific, WA, which is located near Tacoma, in the second half of 2009. Formerly known as Laughing Buddha Brewing, their original business plan was to focus on beers with an Asian influence. In about the past year, they have toned down that part of their business and have started to concentrate on more traditional beers, such as a northwest-style IPA and a hoppy amber ale. They still have a few of their original Asian-inspired beers, but they are also now starting to experiment with other specialty styles. In addition to this coffee stout, they released a smoked ale a few months ago as well. They snatched up head brewer Janelle Pritchard, previously of Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, and I’ve been enjoying what I’ve tried from them lately.

Description: Pours dark brown with thin head that fizzes away quickly. Coffee aroma mixes with a little chocolate and makes you think good things are coming your way. The taste is nicely balanced coffee with dark roasted malts and . The coffee comes across perfectly and really shines. The drawback of this beer is that it comes across fairly thin, and almost falls a little flat. I really enjoy the flavor, but things seem to fade too quickly. That said, it is one of the more sessionable coffee beers you’ll find and I wouldn’t mind having a couple glasses of this at all. Bonus points for the label.

Verdict: Buy it
Availability: 22oz bottles and on draft for a limited time

Brewery Website

Commercial Description/Press Release:

Dillanos Coffee head roaster, Phil Beattie and Trade Route Brewing Company’s head brewer, Janelle Pritchard join forces to create a new winter seasonal beer, Sumatra Coffee Stout.

“When we decided to create a coffee stout for our winter seasonal beer, it made sense to contact our local coffee roaster for ideas” said Janelle. “Not only is Phil incredibly knowledgeable about coffee, he also home brews beer in his spare time.” Both Phil and Janelle will be on hand at the launch party to discuss the brewing & roasting processes. “We’re both delighted to offer this taste experience to both the coffee and the beer drinking communities,” Janelle and Phil commented.

The collaboration began with a visit to Dillanos Sumner facility where Phil presented coffees from several regions and estates. According to Janelle, “We both immediately recognized the potential of Phil’s Mendheling Sumatran beans, which have a robust yet smooth flavor and seemed most likely to blend with the traditional stout flavors of coffee and chocolate.” Next, Phil visited Trade Route Brewing Company where several types of stouts were blended with the cold-brewed coffee to discover the perfect combination. “At just the right concentration, the separate flavors of the coffee and the beer blended into a new, delicious taste that we didn’t expect,” continued Janelle.

Armed with research, Janelle designed a stout using chocolate and crystal malts, adding flaked oats for smoothness and just enough hops to keep the resulting ale from being too sweet. Phil and his crew delivered a cold brewed coffee made from their Sumatran beans which was infused into the beer. At 6.3% ABV (alcohol by volume) this ale can be enjoyed through several pints, as well as paired with both sweet and savory dishes.

Sumatra Coffee Stout will be available on draft at the Trade Route Brewing Company’s Taproom in Pacific, 1091 Valentine Avenue South, as well as at selected ale houses and restaurants in the region, Zato’s Bar and Grill being one of them. The coffee stout will also be offered in 22 ounce bottles at local grocery stores, bottle shops and other outlets.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Bill Night

    That’s interesting, Bridgeport also chose Sumatran coffee when taste-testing for their new coffee porter Cafe Negro. I hope you can find that one in Seattle, it’s also very sessionable at 5.5%.

  • Ron

    Nice beer….. Smooth, full flavor and the “mix” is perfect…. I’ll have another…!!

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