Equator Wholesale Partner Spotlight – ThirstyBear Organic Brewery

At Equator, we recognize that while coffee is an amazing stand-alone beverage, it is also a wonderful ingredient. We enjoy coffee-flavored ice cream, chocolate, and desserts on a daily basis.  We love to collaborate with local, like-minded companies that utilize coffee in unusual ways.  From our coffee-infused kombucha partnership with Revive to our Nana Joes Equator Signature Blend Granola, we have mixed our coffee in some pretty unique ways.  The coffee-infused beer has been popular for quite some time, and Equator is proud to announce our first coffee and beer collaboration from ThirstyBear Organic Brewery in San Francisco, CA.

YEBUNA BIRA (meaning “coffee beer” in Ethiopian) is brewed with our Ethiopia Fair Trade Organic Coffee from the co-op Hamacho Waeno in the Sidama growing region in Aleta Wondo. Spawned by a spontaneous craving by ThirstyBear’s Brewmaster Brenden Dobel and his brewing assistant Michael Hoops, both self-proclaimed coffee enthusiasts, Yebuna Bira is the pick-me-up that both craft beer and specialty coffee lovers can revel in.

Dobel’s intention was to brew a beer that featured a specific coffee profile, rather than brewing a particular beer style and simply adding coffee to it. The collaboration began with a cupping at our Roastery with our Director of Coffee, Ted Stachura. After tasting six different organic coffees, the ThirstyBear team decided on the Ethiopian coffee for its creamy mouthfeel with delicate floral, lavender, vanilla, sweet lemon, and dark chocolate flavors.

“When ThirstyBear approached Equator about working together on a coffee-beer, we were excited for the opportunity to collaborate,” says Ted Stachura. “Since ThirstyBear and Equator are both certified to offer organic products, it seemed like a natural match. Brenden and Michael took the time to visit our roasting facility to evaluate various coffee options and discuss their brewing strategy in detail, which meant a great deal to us.”

To fully immerse and saturate the coffee flavors and aromas, Dobel decided to add the Ethiopia Fair Trade Organic Coffee at three different stages during the brewing process:

  1. 10 lbs. was added at the end of the boil in the kettle for four minutes.
  2. 20 lbs. was added with a “dry hop method” post fermentation and steeped for two days at 34°F.
  3. 5 lbs. of coffee was made into a cold brew toddy and added once the beer was transferred to the serving tank.

Brenden then carefully selected caramel and chocolate malts that exhibit coffee notes and established a color of coffee. He hopped the brew with fruity Organic Jaryllo and floral Organic El Dorado to complement the notes of the Ethiopia Fair Trade Organic Coffee. He then fermented with ThirstyBear’s house ale yeast, and YEBUNA BIRA will be served on nitro.

This beautiful porter steeped with Equator Coffees & Teas Ethiopia Fair Trade Organic Coffee is exclusively available at ThirstyBear’s Organic Brewery at 661 Howard Street San Francisco, CA until the end of July or until supplies last.

Equator Coffees & Teas