Barrel-aged coffee stouts are not new. Infuse coffee into an oatmeal stout, or some similar dark beer, age it in a bourbon barrel or comparable choice, and let it rip. Giant bottles of the big, dark beers litter bottleshop shelves, especially in the fall and winter.
But what about barrel-aging coffee beans? It’s an idea that 5 Rights Brewing owner and head brewer R.J. Whitlow has been kicking around since stumbling upon it at San Diego’s Mostra Coffee. Mostra, which has provided coffee for beers from stalwart breweries like Alesmith and Stone Brewing, has been aging their beans in barrels for years now. The process infuses the beans with the flavor profile from the barrel, with the alcohol burning off in the roasting process.