Most locals are familiar with Left Hand Brewing Co.’s quality Milk Stout, which is often served from a tap using nitrogen gas, giving it a thicker, silkier feel, similar to a Guinness.
Coffee on nitro is currently enjoying its own wave of success in Manhattan, San Francisco, Las Vegas — and at Loco Bean Coffee. The company’s Barnes Road drive-thru has been tapping a coffee kegerator and dispensing it on nitro for a few months now, and on Sept. 14 will release a bottled version for $10.95. The coffee is roasted weekly and brewed for 36 hours, says owner John Reinecke in an interview with the Report.
“When you get it in a cup — because that’s how we originally started serving it, at our Barnes location — we pull it from the tap and mix it with a little Irish Cream [syrup] and a cream floater, and you can see the head from the top cascade down the sides of the cup,” he says. “It does have a nice finish to it — bold, definitely, on the palate, and a totally different kind of caffeine kick to it as well.”
The 36-hour brew process “definitely extracts all that caffeine from the beans that we let it come into contact with,” Reinecke says, yielding a “full-bodied [cold drink], rich in flavor and it has that silkiness that you’d get from a beer.”
Reinecke says Loco is the only local shop currently doing this that he’s aware of. [Update, 6:21 p.m.: Wild Goose Meeting House also taps its coffee.] And that it’s precisely the stand-alone’s limited size that lets it experiment.
“There’s a number of drive-thrus that are trying to compete to bring a finer product to the market: Kangaroo [Coffee], myself,” he says. “There’s a couple of others here that are small, but these are the guys that are bringing the different flavor to it, because they can. They don’t have to follow a strict guideline.”
[Images: Courtesy Loco Bean Coffee]