For Intelligentsia Coffee‘s “Uppers & Downers coffee beer event in Pasadena, Eagle Rock Brewery co-founder Jeremy Raub brewed a special beer called Gold Line, named for the Metro train line that runs through Pasadena. It’s a variation on ERB’s Revolution XPA with “a shitload of citrus peel, a little bit of lactose to boost the body, and just a tiny hint of vanilla.” According to Raub, “The idea was that we wanted to make a beer that was very, very citrusy, and fruity, but had a little more body to mimic some of the really nice, fruity, acidic coffees that these guys are presenting all year long. The challenge was that the barista here would be able to take that beer and use his skill or his talents to pair an espresso shot with that beer.”
The barista he alluded to was Casey Soloria, who had 24 hours to try and match espresso to the beer. He opted for Kenya Ndraoini, recognizing the single origin espresso’s “round body, with a little bit of citrus in the finish.” What surprised me was that Soloria dropped the espresso directly into the beer, creating a frothy head and a surprisingly complementary flavor. Could this combination be the coffee and beer lover’s new dream “affogato”?