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Uppers & Downers: Coffee And Beer Event Series Comes To Chicago

By Staff in Food on Jul 16, 2014 3:00PM


Last year Good Beer Hunting and Intelligentsia called a summit at Intelligentsia Pasadena to discuss the future of coffee beers. This year Uppers & Downers is staging several events in Chicago in August, including a home-brewing competition.

What makes a good coffee beer? “Well, that’s actually what we’re trying to figure out with the series,” says organizer Michael Kiser, the writer and photographer behind Good Beer Hunting . Coffee beers are relatively new territory for craft brewers. Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout is the gold standard, but Kiser says coffee flavors and aromas also complement lighter beers.

“I love bringing these two cultures together,” Kiser says. “Coffee is actually pretty far ahead of beer in terms of exploration.”

On August 6, beer aficionados can pay $20 to get hands-on experience using coffee extraction techniques with presentations by brewers and opportunities to taste coffee beers at Intelligentsia Wicker Park (1601 W. Division St).

Then, on August 29, compete for eternal glory against other home brewers at the Good Beer Hunting Studio (2557 W. North Ave). For $10, laypeople can sample and vote on beers. Entries will be judged by coffee and beer experts in three categories: Roasty Toasty, for heavier porters and stouts; Light Bright, for lighter Pilsners and IPAs; and Culture Clash, the wildcard category for exciting experimental brews.

The winning entries will make an appearance at the main Uppers & Downers event in September. For more information and entry rules, visit Good Beer Hunting.

To attend any of the events, tickets must be purchased in advance.

By Lauren Larson