What do you get when you cross the love of heavy metal, world-class coffee, beer, and Canberra winters in a red-light district? The answer is the latest special release from Capital Brewing Co, which drops around the country this Wednesday, right in time for the ski season.
First Tracks Imperial Stout is only the third special release beer from Capital to make it into cans, and it’s creation is the result of a different kind of Fyshwick hook-up from two iconic local brands Capital Brewing Co and ONA Coffee.
“From the day our taproom opened, the ONA crew would drop in every Friday arvo and swap coffee for beers along with brewing tips and techniques” said Capital’s Head Brewer Wade Hurley. “It’s a fabulous friendship that’s resulted in not just great brews, but even the formation of a heavy metal band named Peril featuring both brewers and roasters.”
Founded by World Barista Champion Saša Šestić, ONA Coffee has been roasting in Fyshwick since 2010. Many of the ONA team are national barista champions, including Head Roaster Danny Wilson. In recent years Danny has focussed his energy on devising ways for coffee and alcohol to compliment each other with spectacular results, twice winning Australia’s largest coffee cocktail championships, and finishing on the podium at the 2018 World Coffee in Good Spirits Championships. Danny has brought this knowledge to the evolution of this beer.
Both the Capital and ONA crews know the best way to get through a Canberra winter is to fully embrace it, which usually means learning to love the snow! First Tracks Stout was Capital’s first-ever seasonal beer, a coffee-infused favourite which has been released in keg every winter since 2016, normally tipping the scales at just 5.2%ABV. It’s been the beer of choice to bring on an annual back-country staff ski trip to toast tracks left in virgin snow.
Thoughts turned to how best achieve more warmth for pack-weight, and the notion of a stronger, imperial version was born. On Danny’s recommendation different coffee blends and extraction techniques were sampled to complement the bigger malt profile.
The end result, available from stockists and online from Wednesday, is a 10.5% coffee and oatmeal imperial stout that pours black as night. A rich and creamy mouthfeel gives way to a naughty hit of booze, like a spiked cup of joe. Special ONA blend The Founder brings subtle raspberry and black currant notes.
If previous Capital special releases are anything to go by, stocks won’t last long. If you too want to toast your fresh lines through the snow with some Peril ripping through the stereo, we suggest you get in quick.
First Tracks Imperial Stout
This coffee & oatmeal Imperial Stout pours black as night! A rich and creamy mouthfeel gives way to a naughty hit of booze, like a spiked cup of joe. One sip of this silky smooth drop and you’ll be transported to those morning first tracks on the mountain.
ABV: 10.5% | IBU: 50
Malts: Pale Malt, Medium Crystal, Caramalt, Choc Wheat, Rolled Oats, Roasted Barley, Pale Choc
First Tracks Imperial Stout is available East Coast and online only. For a full list of stockists visit: https://www.capitalbrewing.co/firsttracks or find it online at Craft Cartel, Boozebud, and Beer Cartel.