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Crossing the Damen Divide: Goose Island x Metic Coffee

This Saturday (3.23.19), we’re excited to tap into our latest coffee-beer collaboration: Damen Divide! This Dunkelweizen coffee-beer is especially exciting because it marks our first time teaming up with friends and neighbors, Goose Island, not only to produce a coffee-beer but also to learn from their extensive expertise and resources.

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Our relationship with Goose began mostly across the counter. Located just down Fulton and across the titular Damen Ave, members of Goose’s team frequent our #metricwestfulton cafe; we, their taproom. After some pleasantry and product trading, their team invited us down to kick the tires on something more than just a pint. Paul Cade, one of the brewers who led the project, commented, “the value in collaborating is working and learning from a group of people with a different set of skills.” Paul gets at what attracted us to developing Damen Divide. Having crafted delicious coffee-beers in the past, this was our first time working at this scale and bringing our coffee to a new style they wanted to explore. Dunkelweizens are a less well know wheat beer with rich-coloring, dark malts: a beer that was frankly foreign to most of our team. With Goose's help, we learned from their set of skills what we needed to find the perfect coffee pairing.

[Goose Island's Paul Darnaby Cupping in our Lab]

Due to its darker Vienna or Munich malts, Dunkelweizen profiles traditionally consist of toffee, banana, and clove notes. Our coffee palates immediately drifted to Central America in search of a traditional but nuanced flavor to compliment this style's robust body. After a group cupping, all parties landed on a coffee from one of our relationship producers in Honduras, Denis Enamorado. Working with Denis going on four years, we already knew his 2018 lot was special; it burst with pear, mango, and molasses notes that also just so happened to pack the perfect sweet characteristics we sought for this beer. Rather than competing with the “malt base… and the hint of banana from the yeast,” as Paul put it, Denis provided a soft pop to the Dunkel's depth. From there, the Goose flock took to point but generously kept us involved, even allowing us even to help brew the mash (the base) of Damen Divide and experimenting with different recipes of how exactly to introduce the coffee into the brew.

[Metric's Connor, @kondorfalcon, (me!) Stirring Malt at Goose]

[Metric's Jess, @jess_salgado, Assessing Damen Divide Variations on Goose's Tap Deck]

Now several months later and with a lot of consideration, work, and relationship churned into this beer, we’re ecstatic to share Damen Divide with you. Helping commemorate the launch, we'll have retail bags of a custom Damen Divide blend available as well as the opportunity to add a Hellion cold brew sidecar to your 16oz pour of Damen Divide (while supplies last). And if that's not enough, Goose and ManBQue’s own, Jesse Valenciana will be barbecuing German-style brats with a Honduran twist. So this Saturday at 5 pm, join us at our neighbors to share some good times and flavors!

A Full Bouquet: Lonesome Rose Pop-Up

How we partner with others is a common theme at, here, Metric Coffee. As an eclectic group of individuals, you can usually find us discussing our various interests. A through-line, connecting our idiosyncratic tastes, is the humans who unabashedly express themselves through their craft. Collectively we admire the confidence that comes through others’ work, and we work to apply it to our own, whether it be at origin, at HQ, or beyond.

[Image courtesy of @lonesomeroseforeve]

Lonesome Rose (one of the beyond) is a partner of ours we’ve been crushing on for a while now. From confident design to flavor, we're proud to be associated with Lonesome Rose's specific service of "approachability and openness." Since opening last year, we’ve proudly provided LR with their custom “Lover’s Blend,” and now, furthering our rapport and admiration, they’ll be slinging a curated menu of their tacos at our cafe this Saturday (from 8 am to 3 pm).

Along with these delicious tacos, our wild bunch of #metricwestfulton baristas curated three signature-drinks exclusively available for the pop-up! I sat down with Dom (@domrod7) and Ty (@honeyprocessed.destruction), two of the humans who helped craft the drink menu and after sharing some smiles about the excitement for Saturday, they laid out the details. “I was envisioning the perfect fusion of Tex-Mex heat and spices with coffee,” Ty explained: the coffee needed to provide a complimentary backbone to fuse properly. Dom simply recalled an image he had in mind while experimenting: a cowboy out in the plains just stewing and drinking coffee. This imagery and intentionality helped corral delicious ends:

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A Prickly Pear Tonic

A sparkling balance of Proyecto Cabanas espresso, prickly pear concentrate, citric acid, and a little sweetener all for a concoction Ty likened to your morning “juice.”

A Hot Horchata (with an optional shot of Quantum Espresso)

Dom insisted that LR’s signature horchata be featured on the bar, articulating, “chai goes perfect with breakfast and tacos with horchata,” so think of it as your morning, Tex-Mex chai.

A Draft Horchata Aguilar

A delicate but nutty cold-brewed coffee harmonizing with the spice of the horchata over its rice milk’s round sweetness.

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We’re thrilled to be sharing our space with such inspiring humans! “Saturday morning, I want [West Fulton] to feel like it feels at Lonesome Rose on a Saturday night,” Dom eloquently summarized all of our sentiment. Come by #metricwestfulton between 8 am to 3 am for community, creativity, and a carefully-thought menu— just like Lonesome on a Saturday night.

Introducing Mark Mann, Metric's Director of Operations.

To help introduce our newest Metric family member, we sat down with Mark and asked him a series of hard-hitting questions about Chicago, his love for coffee, and Malort:

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What are you most excited about living in Chicago?

Just about everything. I'm originally from Wheaton, IL and even though I've spent nearly half my life in Denver, this move feels like coming home. All of my family is from this area since way back in the late 1800s when they immigrated here from Germany. There's a tradition that I'm excited to discover and explore. As far as actually being in Chicago, I'm very looking forward to the food, the beer, the culture, the diversity, the actual seasons, the abundance of classic dive bars, lakes, music, and so much more!

What's your favorite thing about coffee?

Coffee has the unique ability to bring people together much like other hospitality establishments (like a bar or restaurant). The direction that the industry is heading is exciting and innovative, and it's a fun time to be involved!

What’s your go-to coffee drink?

Usually, drip coffee, but my old-school go-to is an iced Americano in a cortado glass.

Outside of coffee, what gets you excited?

Music, eating, biking, walking, cooking, animals, writing, crosswords, and dreaming of solutions to everyday problems.

I hear you have "cat children"… Can you elaborate on the species of your offspring?

Evelyn is a cross-eyed sassy lady. She's a mutt of probably a Siamese and a Calico, but she rules the roost and isn't afraid to tell you! Charlie is our spirited little fella. He's an orange tabby, and we think he's majority Maine Coon. He is a tender soul but sometimes plays just a little too hard. I have cat pictures... SO MANY CAT PICTURES... want to see them? :)

Lastly... Malort?

I love Malort. In the world of being a conscious taster, it's one of the unique taste experiences. So seldom do we as Americans get to taste something one-note bitter. Other cultures use tamarind or some other more bitter ingredients to cook with, and I think everyone should spend more time with the bitter portion of their palette. It's a nice break from sweet bourbons and salty french fries!