Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Hard coffee is the latest trend in boozing up everyday drinks
Just when you thought that there was nothing left to be turned into an alcoholic beverage, along comes hard (read: boozy) coffee. Pabst Blue Ribbon has one. MillerCoors recently announced the same.
A Neenah company has been producing its version since late 2018. They not only welcome the competition. They see it as a good thing, said spokesman Santana Simon.
The Twelve5 company makes the Brown Bomber series of alcoholic cold brews that include plain Brown Bomber, a hard coffee; Brown Bomber Hard Latte; and Brown Bomber Hard Latte Mocha. We know what you're thinking? Why hard coffee? They've come up with three occasions where the hard beverage makes the most sense.
First, it's perfect as a Blood Mary alternative, Simon said. Anytime you see yourself sipping a Bloody Mary is also a good time to consider a Brown Bomber.
Second, the Brown Bomber is good for tailgates or any time you're drinking in daytime thanks to the low ABV (alcohol by volume).
Third, it's also good as an after-dinner drink, Simon said.
Brown Bomber cold brew is made with 100% Arabica coffee at Neenah's Horseshoe Beverage, a readyto-drink coffee facility, and then blended with a malt beverage purchased from a Wisconsin supplier. Plain Brown Bomber is 4.2% ABV. The other styles, Hard Latte with Vanilla and Hard Latte Mocha, come in at 5% ABV.
Cold brew Brown Bomber is sold in cans only. Lattes come in cans and bottles.
Coming soon is a pumpkin spice version of hard coffee and a seasonal peppermint mocha version in time for the holidays.
Brown Bomber is available in Wisconsin, New Mexico and North Carolina. Simon said the beverage is making its biggest splash at off-premise locations such as liquor and grocery stores. In Wisconsin it's available at Woodman's, Festival Foods and Kwik Trip.
Feedback on Brown Bomber has Twelve5 thinking that the brews don't have to be just what's in the bottle or can. Instructions advise serving the brew chilled or with ice, but bartenders say they've received requests to add vodka to the drinks or mix them with a shot of Bailey's Irish Cream — which sounds a little sweet for Simon's taste.
“People who like Irish coffee add whiskey,” he said. Brown Bomber has a suggested retail price of $9.99 for a four-pack or $2.99 for a single 11-ounce can. Drinks on Us features an adult beverage each week that you can order or purchase locally or mix up at home. Contact Kathy at (414) 224-2974 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @katflanigan.