21st Amendment Debuts a New Coffee Brew

The limited-edition beer represents a hoppy collaboration with Peet's Coffee.


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Image courtesy of 21st Amendment

Two East Bay-based beverage companies have teamed up to celebrate local history and drinkable artisanry.

San Leandro-based 21st Amendment Brewery and Emeryville-based Peet's Coffee co-created 1966 Coffee IPA (6.8% ABV, 50 IBUs), a first-time-ever collaboration brew that was first released this month nationally across 28 states.

The limited-edition suds will stay on Bay Area store shelves through the end of March.

As evinced by its retro packaging, 1966 Coffee IPA hails its titular year, which in these parts saw street protests, civil-rights marches, radical politics, and ... a Dutch-born immigrant named Alfred Peet opening a coffee-bar at the corner of Walnut and Vine streets in North Berkeley.

Peet's now has a roastery in Alameda.

1966 Coffee IPA is pale gold with berry aromas and citrus notes from Columbus, Citra, Amarillo, and Centennial hops. Rich coffee accents are balanced with malt structure and defined bitterness to produce a unique flavor profile.

"Rather than the traditional dark beer with coffee, we wanted to have fun with the melding of hops and coffee, paying attention to the coffee varietal and manipulating the roast level to nudge the subtle flavors from the bean for an incredibly unique IPA," said 21st Amendment co-founder and brewmaster Shaun O'Sullivan.

"Working closely with Peet's roastmaster, Doug Welsh, we settled in on Peet's Ethiopian Super Natural — with its lemon, bergamot, and blueberry characteristics perfectly complementing the hop flavors," O'Sullivan said.

Peet's Ethiopian Super Natural Coffee is incorporated into the brew in various clever ways, including "dry-hopping" with whole beans. As a nod to old rock posters, the cans and packaging were developed by 21st Amendment's in-house designer Ben Kinzer, who included Mr. Peet himself as well as other Peet's roastmasters in the imagery. 

"Don't expect dark roast," said Peet's Coffee roastmaster Doug Welsh.

"We iterated every roast style imaginable, with a target profile of maltiness — matching the beer — a kaleidoscope of floral aromatics and the piquant acidity and glacé citron of exceptional Ethiopia. Hops, meet your coffee cousin," Welsh said.