Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping Gotta Get Up to Get Down, from Wiseacre Brewing in Memphis, Tennessee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
The coffee Wiseacre employed for Gotta Get Up to Get Down was a natural Ethiopia Konga, roasted by Chicago’s Metropolis Coffee Company.
This coffee is produced in the Yirgacheffe region, which is situated in the Sidama province. Approximately 800 farmers that live in the Konga district grow coffee on their small plots of land, and bring it to the Sedie washing station. On average, each farmer owns about 2 hectares of land that are planted with coffee trees.
There are about 145 raised beds at Sedie. They are constructed with wood, mesh wire, jute bags and shade nets. It process takes between 15 and 20 days, depending on the weather conditions. It’s essential for the air to be able to circulate to optimize the drying process. When the coffee beans have reached a moisture percentage of 11.5-12%, they are stored in a local warehouse before being transported to Addis Ababa.*
region: Gedeo, Konga, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
farm: Sedie Washing Station
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Sedie Konga Farmers Group
elevation: 1862 – 1920 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
style: Milk Stout
Pouring the beer into my tulip glass, its appearance is that of a classic stout – deep black, very little red hue around the edge when held up to the light, and a thin off-white head that has little retention and spotty lacing.
The aroma is packed with cocoa powder, malts, and vanilla. Surprisingly (and pleasantly so), there is no generic “coffee” aroma to be found herein. Instead, the natural Konga’s fermented blueberry notes come through very clearly.
This is a very thin, light-bodied beer. And I know I’m always harping on coffee stouts that aren’t massively full-bodied, but I really don’t mind this beer’s thinness. In fact, I’m not bothered by it at all. Its thinness is actually enhancing the beer’s flavors. Milk chocolate, light caramel, vanilla cream, and hazelnut serve as the platform for the coffee’s fruity elements (blueberry and cherry) to really shine.
Look, I’m not even going to mince words here – Wiseacre Brewing’s Gotta Get Up to Get Down is one of the best coffee-infused beers I’ve had here at the Table. And, Dear Reader, I assure you – I’m just as surprised at my reaction as you are.
As I said in my cupping notes, I know that I’m always harping on coffee stouts to big, boozy, and full-bodied. And there’s a good reason for that – more often than not, the coffee that these breweries infuses these beers with needs to be masked. They’re typically over-roasted, oily, cheap beans that make the beer bitter and acrid. When a brewery is working with a great coffee, though, they can have a stout that’s thinner, lighter, and sessionable to showcase the coffee component.
And that’s exactly what Wiseacre did with this beer. And it worked. It worked fantastically. The beer was light, very flavorful, and sessionable enough that you could probably replace your morning coffee with it. And it was delicious.
*content provided by Metropolis Coffee Company
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.