Hops Coffee

Salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly. Simon and Garfunkel. Coffee and beer.

Wait…what?

You read that right: Two Delawarean companies, the Point Coffee House in Rehoboth Beach and 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown, recently combined forces to roll out new hops-infused coffee. Yeah, I just blew your mind with that one (probably not, just humor me).

When Claus Hagelman of 16 Mile Brewery went to Sean Hixton of Point Coffee with the idea to make beer-flavored coffee, Hixton was — understandably — not thrilled with the idea. Any coffee lover (no matter how much they also may love beer) wants to taint everything that is good and right about coffee with some outside beverage!

Hagelman eventually convinced Hixton to give the crazy idea a try and they’ve been working for several years to try to concoct the perfect combination of their two passions, which has finally accumulated into the unveiling of Hops Coffee. After several years of experimenting, it turns out that yeast is what was holding the creation back. The partners took the yeast out of the mix, and the Hops Coffee was born.

After removing yeast from the situation, Hixon dissected 16 Mile’s award-winning Tiller Brown Ale. The beer contains bravo hops, which produce a bold, herbal and citrus quality with a little tropical fruit tone. Hixon combined the bravo hops with an organic coffee bean from Tanzania that has those same qualities, simultaneously maximizing both the fruity and the malty flavors in both the hops and the beans.

While some people may be a little doubtful of the flavor of this strangely-combined coffee, creator Hixton says people might be surprised by the flavor:

“Coffee is naturally malty, as is beer. Coffee is also naturally dark and chocolatey, as are a lot of beers. “These two inherent flavors are pretty comparable,” he said. “Rather than adding a new flavor, this combination is fortifying what’s already there.”

Hixton goal now is trying to infused the hops flavor into the coffee beans, a process which has “a lot of chemistry”, but otherwise he is divulging very little about.

For now though, Hops Coffee is available for $15 a bag at the Point Coffee House in Delaware, and will soon be coming out to more general coffee shops around the state.

Oh, and for those who are thinking that this is a great way to get your drink on at 9 a.m., this is a non-alcoholic beverage. Sorry to kill your buzz.

I had previously read about some hops coffee from out of the country (from China, I believe) and a fellow coffee-blogger wrote about their lackluster experience with instant hops coffee. Yuck. Fingers crossed and here’s hopin’ for Hops Coffee from the Point House and 16 Mile Brewery being more of a hit.

Another weird type of coffee I need to get my hands on. The list keeps growing.

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