Powderkeg, Devon’s resident beer obsessives, have brewed an extremely special beer this autumn. Inkling is a luxurious Milk Stout with a full shot of espresso in every pint.
While the people behind the scenes at Powderkeg are beer nerds who love good coffee, they’re not qualified coffee nerds. So, to make this beer the best it could be, they partnered with people who live and breathe coffee.
Their inspirational friends, Ceri and Jordan, started Gaia Coffee in Paignton as a Community Interest Company focussed on wellbeing for local residents and regeneration of the shop’s neighbourhood. They make amazing coffee while also offering a meeting place for local groups, giving meaningful work to people with learning disabilities and supporting mental health among customers. Recently they have progressed from brewing coffee to opening their own roastery and it seemed the perfect time to collaborate.
As any barista will tell you, coffee needs very specific conditions to bring out its best: the roast of the beans, water temperature and pressure, size and density of grounds … the list goes on. So while Powderkeg tried every trick they knew to find an easier way to do the coffee justice, in the end they had no option but to use expertly-brewed espresso, added cold-side to the finished beer.
For the stout itself they wanted a dark, decadent experience, so they used a combination of oats and a cascade of six increasingly dark malts to create a smooth, black velvet backdrop for the Gaia coffee to shine. They settled on a mix of Brazilian Barbosa Gold and Ethiopian Djimmah G5 coffee beans to achieve a rich but creamy roastiness with a touch of dark fruit and spice. The tireless Gaia team then spent over 70 hours making 140 litres of the finest espresso. Blended together, these two carefully-crafted elements create a luxurious, but decidedly punchy, coffee milk stout for the ages.
If you’re a coffee and beer lover, this is the pinnacle – a beer totally unfeasible for wider commercial production, a one-off work of art, too labour intensive and expensive to make to ever be repeated. So Powderkeg hope you savour and enjoy it, knowing you are not only helping to support a wonderful community project, but also in the knowledge that you are unlikely to ever see anything quite like it again.
Inkling will be available on tap exclusively at a selection of Devon’s finest independent bars – The Fat Pig (Exeter), The Tors (Okehampton), The Old Exeter Inn (Ashburton), Maltings Tap House (Newton Abbot), The Five Bells (Clyst Hydon) and the Pig & Pallet (Topsham). It will also be available in limited edition 750ml bottles from Hops & Crafts in Exeter and Five Walls Hop House in Paignton – right next door to Gaia Coffee!
In collaboration with Gaia – Community-focused roasters and coffee shop at www.gaiagiving.com.