Travelogue

The Making of Provenance Porter

The origin story of Provenance Porter, our new Coffee Baltic Porter, is the origin story of coffee. We teamed up with Docent Coffee, a roaster here in Atlanta, to add the perfect coffee roast to balance our Baltic Porter. 

This summer we brewed a Baltic Porter which is a strong black lager – or a lager version of a stout. The beer was cold aged for months giving it a very smooth, clean taste. But we wanted more from this beer. We wanted to find the perfect coffee to blend into the Porter and that would enhance the taste further. So, we set out to find the best roaster for the job. We tried a variety of different local roasters until we landed on Docent, who we connected with through mutual acquaintances. 

Head Brewer Craig Mycoskie recounts his first trip to visit Docent, “Amy and I visited Nolan at their facility in Decatur that has all of the gadgets a coffee snob like me drool over. The coffee I initially had from Docent was awesome. From the first sip I could tell they were all about the quality of their product.”

Later we invited Docent to the brewery for a coffee cupping. They brought coffee from different regions and bean types for us to sample. Unanimously we all agreed on one particular coffee that we liked best, so the next step was to see how it pairs with the Baltic Porter. Well, not great it turns out. When we blended our chosen coffee with the Baltic Porter, the beer brought out some flavors and aroma that were not present before and not the taste we were trying to achieve.

So we went down the list of our favorites, pairing each with the beer. Still, nothing matched the flavor we wanted. Then, we gave Provenance a try and our Eureka moment had arrived! The Baltic Porter was able to extract new berry flavors from the coffee and the acidity balanced out the beer’s sweetness. The perfect blend of coffee and beer has been achieved!

The coffee that blended best with the Baltic Porter hailed from the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia, the cradle of coffee. To understand something, you must understand its provenance and fate. To drink Docent’s Provenance is to drink a coffee from where the first coffee trees originated, from the plateaus and hills in the southwest region of present day Ethiopia. The name ‘Provenance’ pays tribute to the origin of coffee itself as it comes from the cradle of coffee. 

Docent’s Provenance coffee is grown at a high elevation and you’ll detect notes of peach cobbler and creamsicle with a strong acidity, but not overpowering. The taste is smooth which differs from other high-elevation coffees. 

Coffee Infusion

How do you add coffee to beer, you ask?

We’ve been cold aging the Baltic Porter for a couple months and coffee is added just prior to canning and kegging. To brew the coffee, we effectively turn our lauter tun into a giant French press. We added 30 lbs. of ground coffee to make a 40 gallon strong coffee concentrate. Essentially, this is a cold brew made over the course of 18 hours. Finally, we pasteurize the the coffee in the brew kettle and transfer to the fermenter to blend with the beer.

Once the coffee is blended into the Baltic Porter, we are able to keg it, can it, and serve it to you to drink it. Provenance Porter is available from Saturday, 13 November. 

With 15 diverse offerings, Docent's coffees are showing up not only in the cups of restaurant-goers, online customers and Whole Foods shoppers across the country, but it’s also made its way into the cups of some highly acclaimed chefs like “Top Chef” alum Kevin Gillespie.

We often bandy around the phrase “we’re serious, but we’re not serious, but we’re serious”, which also fits with Docent’s mantra: “make seriously good coffee, while not taking yourself or the endeavor too seriously in the process.” Named for volunteers who help guide guests through museums and art galleries, Docent’s goal is to guide all ilk of coffee drinkers toward the world of premium specialty coffee—without the pretense. 

Provenance Porter

Provenance Porter is a coffee-infused strong Black Lager, specifically a Coffee Baltic Porter, using coffee from Docent Coffee. The Baltic Porter was cold aged for several months to give it an extremely smooth profile. Coffee is blended into the beer closer to when we are ready to keg, can, and serve the beer. 

The result is rich, smooth, and an impressive balance of bitterness with a robust flavor ready to keep you warm and awake through the colder months.

8% ABV | 30 IBUs. Provenance Porter is available on tap in our taproom and in six-pack cans to-go. 

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