It is with great pleasure that I announce our very first “Collabrewation” with Kaldi’s Coffee! Our first Collabrewation is a blend we’ve put together from our Guatemala Finca El Valle, and Kaldi’s San Pedro La Laguna. We roast it at our Roastery, ship it two day to St. Louis, where they package it, and Kaldi’s does the same. Brewed manually, it tastes like a nice mojito, with notes of mint, lime, citrus, rum and raisin.
The idea of Collabrewation came from my love of the unity of craft beer brewers who, in taking on the giant commercial beer companies, band together releasing collaboration beers. As they do this, they give a unified charge against the giants, and don’t compete on price or gimmicks, but simply great beer. And as they work together, the craft beer industry benefits on the whole from the collaboration. Both brewers look great when a great collaboration beer is made, and craft beer wins. And we can do this same thing for specialty coffee.
When we work together, we represent not just our companies well, but specialty coffee, and our end goal is to share the beauty that is specialty coffee, and let consumers choose what their favorite coffee is based on a greater understanding of quality coffee. Josh Ferguson and his team at Kaldi’s Coffee get that concept, and were totally on board. Collabrewation encapsulates my thoughts on how we move forward in a positive way in the specialty coffee industry, mirroring what the craft beer industry has been very successful at. We at Batdorf & Bronson believe that our industry is still in it’s infancy, with lots of room to grow and mature, and we are committed to being on the front lines of the revolution that is exceptional coffee.
Hopefully, this is the first of many “Collabrewation” blends, and will be available via both our websites, and our respective wholesale partners, as well as in our shops.
To celebrate the launch, we organized a Atlanta vs. St. Louis Manual Brewing Battle, which took place last night at both of our locations. It was a great event that celebrated the joy of collaboration. In Atlanta, we also featured our other collaborations with King of Pops, Cacao Atlanta, and the delicious Black Coffee Ice Cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Josh Ferguson from Kaldi’s also brought their new collaboration with Fitz’s Sodas, the Coffee Cola, which was delicious.
At the end of the night, there really weren’t losers, but Atlanta took the win vs. St. Louis. Ren Doughty was first place, and Matt Campisi won second place. Both are veterans of our Manual Brewing Battles. Judging the event on our side were Chef Mark Nanna (who’d judged before), Ben Blake (@drawcoffee), and local food blogger Ashley O’Dell. Thanks to all who came out and made the night a success, especially the local coffee community.
Special thanks to my Team at Batdorf & Bronson; Jacque DesMarais, Marcus Boni, Tyler Zimmer along with the rest of Team Kaldi’s Coffee in St. Louis; Rusty Angell and BUNN; Kyra and Baratza Grinders; DJ Johnny D; and last, but not least, my wife who worked her butt off all night.