Stimulating the senses

Jon Meyer of Oso Negro and Mike Kelly of Nelson Brewing Company team up to create the brewery
Jon Meyer of Oso Negro and Mike Kelly of Nelson Brewing Company team up to create the brewery's new beer Stimulator.
— image credit: Samuel Dobrin photo

Nelson’s beverage institutions, the Nelson Brewing Company and Oso Negro; have teamed up to produce a one-of-a-kind Kootenay product.

On Valentine’s Day local restaurants, pubs and bars will be pouring a limited edition chocolate coffee beer called Stimulator.

“It was totally intentional to have it launch on Valentine’s Day. It’s all about the love,” said Al Mcleod, executive manager of sales, marketing and delivery for Nelson Brewing Company.

Brewer Mike Kelly has been working with Oso Negro’s Jon Meyer to find the right variety of coffee which has been cold brewed and added to the beer.

“We wanted to cold brew it because we don’t want to extract a lot of bitterness from the coffee. If you have a nice espresso it can be fairly bitter,” said Kelly.

Stimulator is a doppelbock, which is  higher in alcohol, adding to the warming effect of the coffee and chocolate.

“A bock is a strong lager,” said Kelly.  “We’re adding bits of cocoa to it for the chocolate flavour and coffee for the nice flavour and aroma, so we thought those flavours and the doppelbock would go well together. It’s going to be a strong beer over 7.5 per cent alcohol by volume. It will warm you up. It will be more like a dessert beer.”

Unlike a chocolate porter or an espresso stout, Kelly wanted the sweetness to come from the maltiness generated by a high elevation brew.

“I think if I were to liken it to everything it wouldn’t be like a mocha that you’d get from Starbucks but like a specialty coffee you’d get after dinner with some Baileys or some whisky in it,” he said.

Due to the high alcohol content, Kelly said one of the biggest challenges was making sure that enough of the coffee and cocoa flavour came through in the beer.

Mcleod said that because of the high quality certified organic products used, it was easier to make sure the desired flavours were in the beer.

Nelson Brewing Company will be kegging the limited edition beer next week for Valentine’s Day.

It will be poured throughout the city and around the region, but if you don’t get some next week you may be out of luck.

Mcleod said that it could take months for Stimulator to appear on store shelves.


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