Cold-brew coffee on draft is a bona fide thing around here. The new Cupcake Royale will have a tap of Stumptown, the forthcoming Cone and Steiner will pour Caffe Vita, and of course there’s Analog Coffee over on Capitol Hill.
But I’ve never seen coffee on nitro before.
A coworker tipped me off that the convivial Anchors Down in Ballard is pouring Stumptown’s popular cold brew (the same stuff that comes in the glass stubbies) on nitro, like you would a beer. “When we pour the cold brew, it comes out like a Guinness,” says Anchors Down partner Amy Graeff. That tap injection of nitrous oxide gives beer a smoother, creamier feel (typical carbonation adds fizz and bubbles) and apparently it does the same for coffee.
Graeff is a Portland native and longtime Stumptown fan. She says she’s the first bar in Washington to carry the coffee on nitro (the only other place she knows of is Stumptown’s downtown Portland location on SW Third Ave). Since the coffee came on draft at Anchors Down, neighborhood residents have been stopping in with their to-go cups for a takeaway coffee, maybe with milk or simple syrup. But Graeff is busy developing a few coffee-based cocktails she plans to roll out in October.
Anchors Down’s cocktail menu will likely have two seasonal creations made with the creamy, nitrous-ified Stumptown. Graeff says one of the debut creations will be the Headspin, made with Sailor Jerry’s rum, bitters, milk, and spices, and served on the rocks with milk foam (naturally) and a sprinkle of Stumptown coffee dust.
The Anchors Down Facebook page would be a good place to keep tabs on the cocktails' debut.