Arjun Haszard (left), of Quick Brown Fox, artist Becki Sinclair and Bart Acres from Velvet Worm Brewery toast the creation of Flight of Icarus coffee stout. Photo by Craig Baxter.
It's beer, boys, but not as you know it.
Arjun Haszard, creator of coffee and cinnamon liqueur Quick
Brown Fox, and Bart Acres, from Velvet Worm Brewery, have
teamed up to create a coffee stout called Flight of Icarus.
Only 300 litres has been produced, with a launch set down on
November 16 at Ombrellos. It will be available at three
Dunedin bars and 200 hand-numbered bottles will be sold at
the Otago Farmers Market.
Mr Acres first met Mr Haszard during the very early stages of
Quick Brown Fox, which was launched in December 2011. It is
now sold by about 90 outlets around the country.
About the same time, Mr Acres, then a home-brew enthusiast,
was making a stout and ''things started to line up''He could
see overlaps in flavour and how those flavours could
harmonise and he floated the idea of working with Mr Haszard.
He started his own microbrewery, Velvet Worm Brewery, late
His beers are brewed at an old venison plant at Burnside and
are available at a few bars around the city although he aimed
to expand his reach around Otago and beyond in the coming
He and Mr Haszard have made about five test batches of coffee
stout over the past 18 months. A sample batch at the
inaugural Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival in September
proved very popular.
It was decided to have an annual limited release, this year
just in Dunedin but next year nationwide.
Both beer and coffee were very complex and delicate and it
was about finding harmony between roasted malts and roasted
coffees, Mr Haszard said.
A blend of three Fair Trade organic coffees, hand-roasted by
Logan Mamanu at the Strictly Coffee Company, was used.
Coffee was delicate to work with so, to prevent
over-extraction and oxidation, it was pre-extracted instead
of adding the grounds to the fermenter.
Mr Haszard described it as a medium-bodied stout with a
deep-layer malt character ranging from caramel to dark
roasted notes, with coffee and cinnamon intermingling
throughout. The cinnamon acted as a ''tribute'' to the
flavour of Quick Brown Fox.
The pair wanted to make something ''drinkable'', which was
why it was 5.5% alcohol, low for a stout.
''We also felt a sense of respect to the great tastes,
especially in beers and art, that come from Dunedin,'' he
The artwork was completed by Dunedin artist Becki Sinclair.
For this year's release, tags would hang on the bottles that
people could keep as a trinket.
Her inspiration was to create a design that reflected the
hand-crafted aesthetic of both brands and one that someone
would want to take away with them.
Mr Haszard had always been fascinated by the story of Icarus,
which he described as a wonderful and vivid tale. Those
involved with the project were a passionate team, he said.