Love Buzz: Espresso in my Beer

"Kalamazoo Beer Week"

Jennie Bach of Discover Kalamazoo highly recommends this espresso (from Ugly Mug Café and Roastery) and beer (by Arbor Brewing Co.) blend called “Dirty Love,” which she tried Tuesday at Shakespeare’s Pub.

Jennie Bach Cook is the director of operations for Discover Kalamazoo. She resides in Galesburg with her husband, daughter and two cats.

She loves the Red Wings and Packers and is famous within her own family for being born the same day/year as Brett Favre. Jennie spends much of her free time bullying people into agreeing that Wilco is the best band EVER and watching Dance Moms.

Tuesday night, my husband and I decided to follow the advice of our new BFF Logan, brewer from Arbor Brewing Company, and attend the Arbor Brewing Company event “Espresso Love” at Shakespeare’s Pub.

I ordered a Brasserie Blonde, which was citrusy and reminded me a little bit of Oberon – it was very good. My husband ordered the Espresso Love, a stout that smelled and tasted like rich coffee (I know this because I kept stealing sips).

Logan arrived at Shakespeare’s with some friends in tow from the Ugly Mug Café and Roastery (based in Ypsilanti, Mich.). He stopped by our table to say hi and to gave us a sample a specialty brew that Shakespeare’s had on tap for the event.

"Kalamazoo Beer Week"

“Espresso in my beer? GENIUS!” said Jennie Bach, of Discover Kalamazoo. Jennie noted that the beer tasted a little like bananas and chocolate.

The beer was named “Dirty Love,” and it’s a version of Espresso Love that has been bourbon barrel-aged and has flavors like vanilla, cocoa and chipotle pepper. (Note: If you have never tried a beer like this, run to Shakespeare’s and see if they still have it on tap. It is delicious and coffee-ee and rich, and it makes you feel warm all the way down to your belly.) I made my husband order a pint so I could sip away at Dirty Love while also trying Logan’s next concoction: The guys at Ugly Mug poured a shot of freshly-brewed espresso into my Brasserie Blonde, changing it into a “Dirty Blonde.”

I’ve had a lot of things that are not beer poured into my beer during my life – some good, some bad. Espresso in my beer? GENIUS! Logan said that it had been described as “tasting like chocolate and bananas.” And it did taste a little like that combination, but there was so much more going on in my mouth! It was magic!

I would have had another if I didn’t have to go to work in the morning. So, I did the responsible thing and called it a night … When I was still awake at 2 a.m., it hit me that maybe espresso in my beer isn’t such a good idea at 9 p.m. But I can’t wait to do it again!

Check Kalamazoo Beer Week to watch the calendar of events. Click here for more info about what to do in Kalamazoo!  Cheers!

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