When someone orders a shot and a beer, they typically aren't referring to a shot of espresso. The latest release from Saint Arnold Brewing Co., the oldest craft brewery in Texas, could change that. Saint Arnold Icon Blue - Coffee Porter was brewed using 45 lbs. of espresso beans, which contribute to the beer's balance of chocolate, roast and coffee flavors and its pleasant roast aroma with a mix of chocolate, coffee and mocha.

Saint Arnold Icon Blue - Coffee Porter is beginning to appear on tap and in six-packs of 12-oz bottles as supplies of Saint Arnold Icon Red – American Roggenbier run out. From this point forward, beers in the Saint Arnold Icon Series will be available in six-packs.

Craft beer and specialty coffee are kindred spirits. Both require roasting and rely on aroma to enhance the overall experience. Both are enjoyed by passionate communities of people who appreciate bold, distinct flavors and the two beverages share many flavor similarities. In fact, some stouts and porters can elicit the aromas and flavors of coffee even when no coffee is used. That was never an option for Saint Arnold Icon Blue - Coffee Porter, however.

"We have been working with Houston-based specialty coffee roaster Java Pura for quite a while on various ideas for new beers and this one came together beautifully," says Saint Arnold brewer Eddie Gutierrez. "We tried a half-dozen different types of coffee and decided Java Pura's Espresso Blend really enhanced the beer's flavor. We also tested different methods of adding the coffee beans and everyone agreed that adding it to the fermenter after the beer is completed – similar to dry hopping or dry spicing – gave us the results we were after."

While this is Saint Arnold's first publicly released beer using Java Pura's coffee beans, this isn't the first time the two companies have collaborated. Java Pura uses recycled oak barrels from Saint Arnold's Bishop's Barrel Series to age green coffee beans prior to roasting. The idea led to the creation of Java Pura's own Barrel Aged Series of coffee beans.

"Saint Arnold is a fantastic brand to be associated with and we are very proud to see our Espresso Blend used to round out the aroma and flavor of Coffee Porter," saysJava Pura managing partner Richard Colt. "It has been a blast to work with the Saint Arnold brewing team because they are so passionate and creative. And, they have discerning palates that appreciate really good coffee!"

With the coffee addition, Saint Arnold Icon Blue - Coffee Porter could feature a lighter malt bill than might be expected, with Two Row, Pale Chocolate and Crystal 120 L malts as well as oats. The brewers used Bravo hops for bittering and finished with Willamette hops.

Saint Arnold Icon Blue - Coffee Porter Specifications:

  • Original Gravity: 1.060
  • Final Gravity: 1.015
  • Alcohol Content: 6.2% ABV
  • Bitterness: 51 IBUs

The Saint Arnold Icon Series is a line of rotating beers that complement the brewery's year-round and seasonal offerings. Saint Arnold Icon Blue features a striking metallic blue and black label with an image of the brewery's namesake, St. Arnold of Metz, the patron saint of brewers.