Great Basin Brewing Co. stout party!

Great Basin Brewing Co. hosts all-day release party for three big stouts

Great Basin Brewing Co. released Magpie Coffee Milk Stout this week, a collaboration between award-winning Magpie Coffee Roaster and the award-winning brewery. Great Basin also took a huge step up with a commemorative barrel-aged imperial stout and Outlaw Milk Stout in a can today too.

As part of a month-long celebration of stout beer, Great Basin Brewing Company is hosting a release party for both its 404 Scytale (rhymes with “Italy”) Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout and its Outlaw Milk Stout  cans from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, at both its Sparks and Reno brewery locations.

Great Basin Brewing Company’s new 404 Scytale Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout was sequestered in whiskey barrels for exactly 404 days, enriching and fermenting a dark, mysterious and fruity beer. Great Basin Brewing’s 404 Scytale is a salute to the mastery and craft of Ancient Greek cryptography. The beer is sold in a 22 oz. bottle in a commemorative box for $15.95 plus tax. Unlock the code and the imbiber will be justly rewarded, according to Great Basin. Scytale is a strong brew, weighing in at 13-percent alcohol.

“Our new 404 Scytale beer is truly remarkable and a tribute to the essence of ‘craft’ brewing,” said Tom Young, brewmaster and co-owner of Great Basin Brewing Company in a press release. “These limited-edition bottles of Scytale can be savored immediately, or laid back for a couple of years to develop more intricacy. Open the box and start your journey.”

On Wednesday, March 11 only, and while supplies last, Great Basin Brewing Company will offer a free pint glass with the Outlaw Milk Stout logo, with the purchase of each 6-pack.

“It’s high time we canned this beer, currently only available in bottles or kegs, for which we’ve won more awards than any other beer at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.” Tom said in a press release.

Outlaw Milk Stout is both Great Basin’s and Nevada’s most award-winning beer. And so it makes sense to combine it with Magpie Coffee Roaster’s Good Food Award-winning coffee. Magpie’s Matt Sewell and Mark Hirose ground their Gondo Co-op Kenya bean with brewmaster Chris Wall to create Magpie Coffee Milk Stout.

After grinding 13.5 pounds of coffee, the three of them poured the grounds into four pantyhose legs then stuffed those hose into serving tanks full of Outlaw Milk Stout.

Matt said he’s never drank a coffee beer that tasted like the actual coffee. For example, the Gondo Co-op Kenya bean should taste like grapefruit, tropical fruit and brown sugar when brewed correctly, but the coffee stout will taste more like the idea of coffee, with more of the flavor coming from the coffee aroma (yes, flavor comes from smell).

The main reason for this is that the coffee is cold-brewed inside the beer for 18 hours, a method that doesn’t extract the same acids and oils as a hot brew. So the next step for Magpie and Great Basin is to flash-cool a hot brewed coffee, then pour that into the tanks. Hot brewing will extract the specific flavors of the coffee and hopefully add those to the final flavor of the stout, making a more unique, complex beer. But pouring 200-degree coffee directly into the tanks would damage the beer with an extreme temperature shift, so the coffee must go into the tank at about the same temperature as the beer. But waiting for the beer to cool normally would result in stale tasting coffee that’s lost its complex flavor and aroma and potentially ruin the stout completely. #BeerIsHard

“It takes a great beer and a great coffee to come together to make a great drink,” Matt said.

Correction March 11 at 4:30 p.m.: The original description of the Scytale incorrectly stated which ancient civilization created and used the cryptographical device. It was the Ancient Greeks. Thanks to Cameron Kelly for actually reading the Wikipedia article in full.