Wake Up Iowa City and Backpocket Brewing collaborate on new coffee stout

Wake Up Iowa is a seasonal coffee stout. — image courtesy of Backpocket Brewing

Backpocket Brewery will introduce Wake Up Iowa, their new coffee stout made in collaboration with local coffee-roaster Wake Up Iowa City, at their Iowa River Landing brewery (903 Quarry Rd., Coralville) this Saturday at 9 a.m.

Backpocket brewer and co-owner Jake Simmons says the beer should be available on draft and in six-packs starting next week.

Simmons says he wanted to be “territorial” when brewing a seasonal coffee stout, sourcing the coffee from a local roaster. Though Simmons says he is not a coffee drinker, the other brewers at Backpocket are and they all had good things to say about the coffee from Wake Up Iowa City. Jarrett Mitchell, roastmaster of Wake Up Iowa City says that he and Backpocket brewer Logan DePover started talking about a possible beer collaboration about a year ago.

To make Wake Up Iowa, Simmons says the brewery first brewed a batch of oatmeal stout. After fermentation, a 100-pound blend of ground Dark Roast Shadows and Eye of the Tide Medium Roast were added. The coffee was allowed to steep in the beer for three days before being filtered out — a process Mitchell likens to cold brewing, where ground coffee is steeped in water that is cold or at room temperature.

“The process of cold brewing brings out the positive flavors from each roast, without the bitterness or acidity associated with coffee,” Mitchell said.

Wake Up Iowa is the first stout to be bottled by Backpocket and, true to its local origins, will only be available in eastern Iowa.

“It’s a local beer, so we’re keeping it local,” said Simmons.

Mitchell emphasizes that just being local is not enough: The beer has to taste good, too.

“It is imperative that it be great, and I think that this beer accomplishes that,” Mitchell said.

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