By Chelsea Novak
Two Castlegar businesses have partnered together to create an espresso stout.
Kimberly Mamos and Mike McLellan, owners of the Humble Bean Coffee Co., and Hedin Nelson-Chorney, a founder and the general manager of Tailout Brewing, and Mary Lusty, head brewer, joined forces to create a creamy stout with carefully brewed espresso.
Nelson-Chorney explains that the collaboration came about because the Tailout team has been visiting the Humble Bean since arriving in Castlegar and it didn’t take long for friendships to form.
“Part of being in a small town like Castlegar, I think it’s pretty important to collaborate with your friends and other small businesses in town,” he adds, “so after 2000 coffees and 1000 beers over the last few years, we decided that we wanted to do something together.”
An espresso stout seemed like the perfect collaboration, especially right before Christmas.
One Humble Stout, as the team dubbed it, has been available at Tailout Brewery — both in cans and on tap — since a week before the holiday, and will remain so as long as supplies last, which Nelson-Chorney estimates might be another month.
To make the beer, Lusty started by brewing a regular stout.
“We put lots of oats in it to make it creamier, so it kind of had that latte feel,” she says.
Then Mamos and McLellan brought Lusty a container filled with 50 litres of espresso, all brewed at the Humble Bean Coffee Co.
“We ran it through our espresso machine, we made it very strong — a little stronger than normal just because we knew we’d be diluting it in the beer,” explains McLellan.
Brewing the espresso this way, they were only able to make 60 millilitres at a time, so it took a while to brew the necessary 50 litres. McLellan explains that they brewed after hours and snuck in some brewing during regular hours as well.
Lusty then mixed the espresso in with the finished stout, and the beer was carbonated.
Nelson-Chorney explains that the stout is a little different if you have it on tap, because they have it hooked up to nitrogen gas instead of carbon dioxide.
“If you imagine what a Guinness is like when it’s poured, it’s really thick, [has] a softer mouth feel,” he says.
Nelson-Chorney says Tailout has had nothing but excellent feedback on the beer, but people have also been surprised by the collaboration.
The team at Humble Bean has also been hearing positive feedback.
“We get a lot of people who come in and make a comment about having a beer over at Tailout, how good it was, and how great an idea it was to collaborate with them,” says McLellan.
Mamos adds that other businesses in the area have asked her about how to collaborate with Tailout on a beer.
“I’d say that’s a pretty good sign that we did something good and fun,” she says.
As for further collaboration between the Humble Bean Coffee Co. and Tailout Brewing, the two are in early talks to open a shared location out at Selkirk College.