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At Empire, we are committed to brewing your favorite beers with the finest ingredients, sourced locally, whenever possible. Local Grind embodies that commitment; a Scotch Ale brewed with freshly ground coffee beans, it brings together two American staples: craft beer and locally roasted coffee.
Our collaborative brew with long time partner, Café Kubal Coffee Roaster, will be brought to you in 4-packs and on draft across NYS and NJ during a limited release this month. Café Kubal was established in 2004 and has since opened seven locations in the Syracuse Area. We chose Café Kubal for their proximity to our Syracuse Brewpub and for the quality of their coffee. Empire’s Director of Brewing Operations, Tim Butler remembers the mutual excitement for the partnership saying, “Even back then, we were talking of a long term partnership and getting the beer into [bottles] once we expanded.” That was 2013; Local Grind has since created a cult following in the Syracuse area, patrons admitting to checking Empire’s “on tap” webpage daily when there are rumors the coffee brew fermenting. Also, winning employee choice as the best beer of 2015.
When Empire started exploring different coffee brews back in 2013, it seemed many were either a porter or stout style. Tim Butler wanted to stay in the realm of dark beers, but steer away from the norm, “I thought the smoothness of a Scotch Ale would marry much better with the acidity of the coffee,” and the Local Grind was born. The beer is infused with a custom blend of Guatemalan beans, giving the brew a distinct coffee note that compliments the sweet malt profile.
If you’re wondering where we got the name, Tim gave us the scoop, “The concept of the name Local Grind was the combination of two local companies getting together to create one product, and the daily grind of working hard to succeed. Also, the double meaning of grinding coffee to a specific size that is suitable for brewing.”
What goes into brewing the Local Grind? It’s all in timing, temperature, and ingredients. Growth and scale have been common themes for Empire in the past year, maturing in 2016 from a 7BBL brew house to a 60BBL production style brewery. For Local Grind, that means more hops, more malt, and a lot more coffee! First, we brewed the Scotch Ale and allowed time for fermentation. After fermentation, we used close to 100lbs of freshly ground Guatemalan coffee beans, utilizing our hop cannon to circulate the coffee throughout the fermenter. Circulating the coffee through the liquid at a low temperature proved to cut down on the coffee’s acidity while preserving the smooth and sweet flavors.
Are you thirsty yet? We will be celebrating Local Grind’s release in bottles and on draft February 17, 2017 at Café Kubal’s newest location at 712 East Fayette St. in Syracuse, NY and will then make its way to stores and bars near you. Local Grind makes an excellent pairing at brunch or your happy hour pick me up. Don’t miss out, supplies are limited!
Youtube: Fueling Empire State, Arvest Pictures