If you keep up with the coffee scene, you’ve probably come across cascara. It’s the fruit of the coffee plant, or the “cherry”. The flesh of the dried cascara can be brewed into a gorgeous berry tea that is turning up all over town. Craft brewers Young Henrys have taken it one step further and are brewing a beer with the coffee cherry in conjunction with Toby’s Estate.
The Young Henrys team first came across cascara when Toby’s Estate bought some over, and after trying it out of curiosity, Adamson felt the favours would work well for brewing.
“I thought it sounded amazing and that it would be sweet, fermentable and full of coffee-like flavours, but we found it was reminiscent of cherries, raisins and rosehip tea. There was no bitterness of a roasted bean,” says Richard Adamson, head brewer at Young Henrys. The beer was brewed in the bock style, “Bock is a darker lager and we used the cascara in the process and maintained the flavour,” says Adamson. “After fermenting, we also had a low-roast coffee from Toby’s plantation in Panama and we ran the beer through that.”
The resulting beer, named OkTobyfest Bock, is quite the chameleon, being a mix of coffee, tea and beer. It’s available now at the Young Henrys Newtown brewery and selected pubs.