Miles Kirby of Caravan has once again teamed up with Beavertown’s Logan Plant to release Spresso, a limited edition 9.5% coffee stout brewed with over 40kg of Caravan Coffee Roastery beans. Spresso was first brewed three years ago (apparently with Prairie Artisanal Ales weighing in), and it’s always a popular special. And the barrel-aged version of Spresso from their Tempus barrel program was just named as the “Top UK Beer 2016” at the recent RateBeer.com awards. To celebrate the successful ongoing collaboration, Miles and Logan put on a 4-course beer-paired dinner at Caravan Exmouth Market – the original Caravan restaurant (est 2010) which once housed the roastery in its basement.
We were greeted with pours of the Spresso and their classic Gamma Ray, before we all found our seats and settled in for the feast. After a bergamot heavy scallop ceviche paired with Earl Phantom (an Early Grey Tea dry-hopped berliner weisse), we devoured a bowl of baked cod, with chorizo mash, olorosso, and clams. This second dish was matched with Deinos (also from the Tempus program), an 8.4% sherry barrel-aged weizendoppel bock collaboration with Colorado’s Oskar Blues. They infused the beer with barbecued banana, walnuts, pecans, dates and figs, plus some smoked oak barrel shavings for good measure, before ageing it in sherry and madeira barrels.
Round 3 was a wonderful North African curry of lamb shoulder with fried aubergine, pickled green chilli, sumac and more, paired with the relatively new Lupuloid IPA, a 6.7% hoppy number with citra, mosiac, and equinox. Last but not least, we finished off with a glorious slice of Spresso cake with burnt coffee cream and caramel chocolate sauce, washed down with generous goblets of the aforementioned barrel-aged Spresso. The deadly 11.3% version is aged in Heaven Hill & Jim Bean bourbon barrels for 7/8 months and infused with coffee again afterwards, just in case there wasn’t enough in there already. Not a bad way to start the week, even though my cup of Caravan coffee the next morning was a bit of a struggle.
P.S. Keep an eye on the Beavertown Twitter feed (click here) for updates on various exciting Tempus Project releases this year!