Fans of Epic Brewing Co.’s Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout will be excited to know that this year a batch has been made specifically for Texas.
The beer, which is brewed with cocoa nibs and coffee beans, features North Texas' own Cultivar Coffee, a roaster and espresso bar with locations in Dallas and Denton. Most of the brew (140 out of 150 barrels) were shipped straight to Texas as Batch #55.
Big Bad Baptist is a part of Epic's Exponential Series, a "special line of ales and lagers for the accomplished consumer or the ever-curious," according to the brewery's website. The coffee used varies from batch to batch, making each batch different and highly sought after. This year there are four batches that will be distributed here: The aforementioned #55 with Cultivar Coffee from Texas, as well as others using Caffe Ibis and Blue Copper Roasters out of Utah, and Novo Coffee out of Denver.
I found this batch to be very boozy, which makes sense at 12.7 percent alcohol by volume, and the coffee notes were mostly in the aroma, with the beer taking on a slight dark chocolate flavor.
The Texas-inspired batch will be released at a special event on Saturday, October 10 before bottles and kegs hit bars and package stores starting Monday, October 12. Check out the details below for the release party, and welcome fall with this tasty beverage.
Your first chance to get the Texas Special Release of BBB
What: First release of Epic Brewing Co.’s special Texas Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout Batch #55
Where: Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House, 1154 Peavy Rd., Dallas
When: Saturday, October 10, from 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Why: Big Bad Baptist is one of those beers that every coffee fiend loves. I don’t like a lot of barrel-aged beers, especially if the wood notes are too strong, but BBB is near perfect. Batch #55 has the added bonus of supporting the #drinklocal tag, since Epic used local coffee beans (about one pound per barrel).
How much: Pay by the pour, and enjoy food and music as well.
What else: Goodfriend is one of the best beer bars in Dallas, and they have killer food and bartenders, too. Making it out to this event would be a great way to introduce some of your non-beer friends to the local scene, and also hang out with the local players.
Every batch of Big Bad Baptist is a blend of three different barrels: first-use, which provide the whiskey flavor and heat; second-use, which bring out the fruit and vanilla notes in dark beers; and third-use barrels, which add the woody character to the finished product. There will be a subtle difference in every BBB batch, since the coffees used are different, and the grind size is adjusted to get the specific flavors desired. The coffee from Cultivar is of Colombian origin with a big classic aroma and balanced roasted body.
When asked why Epic chose to work with a Texas coffee company, Epic's communication director Matthew Allred said, "Coffee is like any of our other natural ingredients. We spend a lot time developing relationships with maltsters and hop farmers and have tremendous respect for their craft, coffee isn't any different. We look for roasters that have similar commitments to their craft as we do to ours. We enjoy working with small batch producers that are being innovative in their approach to single origin coffees."