Relax on the Beach of Costa Rica

March 9, 2017

With Ebon’s Costa Rican Brown

You know that feeling you get when you head into a coffee shop and smell the air?  The joy you feel when you take a sip of coffee that’s been brewed to the perfect temperature, using the right ingredients, so the coffee isn’t too acidic?  You can experience that joy in a beer.

On the rotational menu over at Carter’s Brewery right now is a lovely brown ale that gives you that blissful feeling that you’re having a delightful cup of coffee.  But it’s beer.


Ebon’s Costa Rican Brown

Perhaps the most popular brown ale in Montana comes from Big Sky Brewing.  Moose Drool has been widely distributed for at least a couple decades, and it is enjoyed because of its smooth and full flavor.  This beer takes a little bit of a different approach.

Most brown ales are darker than Ebon’s is.  Most incorporate some sort of nutty flavor (like the Doreen’s Downtown Nut Brown from the Brew Pub).  This beer, however, incorporates a smooth malty goodness, with a distinct light coffee flavor.

With little head to get in the way, you can get a really good whiff of the beer before you take the first sip.  You’ll notice a little bit of chocolate and a hint of coffee.  But it’s not so overwhelming that you can quite place your finger on it.

The first sip you notice a chocolatey taste.  It’s subtle, and there is more beer flavor than chocolate flavor.  But then the coffee taste hits you.  It’s like you stepped back 12 hours in time and instead of sitting in a tap room in the evening, you’re sitting in a coffee shop in the morning.

More sips yield less of the chocolate flavors and more of that smooth coffee flavor.  It’s not big and bold like an espresso porter, but smooth and easy going. More sips make you want to just sit back and relax as you wake up for the morning.  Or evening.  Or whatever it happens to be.

Eventually your glass is empty, and you’re left with a dilemma: should you have another or get on with your day?  If you haven’t hit your 3 pint limit, then you might as well settle in with a newspaper and enjoy a second cup of coffee.  Or pint of beer.  You’ll be confused, but in a good way.

Ebon Coffee Collective

If you weren’t able to figure it out by the name, and the coffee description, this brew was a collaboration effort between Carter’s Brewing and Ebon Coffee Collective.  While most coffee beers are overpowering and not exactly easy to drink, this one bucks the trend.  And it was designed to do just that.  Lenny at Ebon Coffee approached Mike at Carter’s with the idea of making a coffee beer that wasn’t a porter or stout.  By cold brewing a lighter roast of coffee, the two were able to come up with just that: a coffee beer that doesn’t smack you in the face.

The two local businesses teamed up to provide a superior drink, so get out to Carter’s and try it before the barrel runs dry.

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by scott
Scott is a writer, outdoor enthusiast, beer snob, and woodworker. When he is not out exploring all of the wonders around Billings, he loves to sit down for a frosty brew at one of the many great breweries we have available to us. You can read about most of his adventures, and many of the fine brews he has sipped right here; or contact him through his website if you need some adventure tips.

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