Bellarine Brewing Company grabbed attention with its slightly briney mussel stout but now the company has taken a new tack: kegged nitrogen-charged cold brew coffee.
The new direction came about when the brewery moved from the Bellarine Peninsula to South Geelong and was unable to brew for six months due to red tape, says owner Tim Page-Walker.
Along with a friend who owns a coffee-roasting business, he came up with the idea of making nitrogen-charged coffee.
Twelve months on, he's making coffee in kegs and bottles for more than 20 coffee roasters, including Proud Mary and Veneziano.
Freshly roasted beans are steeped in cold water for up to 50 hours before being extracted without filtration or preservatives. The coffee is then put into kegs or bottles charged with nitrogen, which helps it pour like an Irish-style beer, with a thick crema. It is usually served black over ice but it can also be mixed with milk and flavoured syrups. Page-Walker is also working on coffee concentrates that can be used for espresso martinis or coffee milkshakes.
The bottles need to be well shaken before use. "I'm putting it into bottles with twist-off lids so you can pour out the neck height, put the cap back on and shake again then pour it out completely. Nitrogen as a gas is a strong little bubble so you have to upset it a lot before it will roll and cream."
He is brewing tea in a similar way for two companies at the moment, bottling them with carbon dioxide to give them a spritz.