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At this time of year, my bedtime ritual includes putting course-ground coffee beans and cold water into my fridge to steep overnight. But I may get to rethink the routine: It used to be that if you were a cold-brew snob, you had to make your own iced coffee. Now, more and more local roasters are getting in on the cold coffee game.
Following in the footsteps of national players like Stumptown and La Colombe, my email inbox has been littered with news of Denver cold brew. Boxcar Coffee Roasters, which roasts at the Source in RiNo, recently began hand-bottling Bottlerocket iced coffee. Co-owner and head roaster Vajra Rich brews the coffee in a top-secret process that starts hot and ends cold. “We wanted to make it faster, with less exposure to oxygen,” Rich says. South Broadway’s Corvus recently launched a new product called Hopped Cold Brew. “It’s cold brewed coffee—brewed on a pilot beer system—which is then dry hopped with whole cone citrus hops,” roastmaster Phil Goodlaxson says of the cold java that can also be found on tap at Station 26 Brewing Co. in northeast Denver. Method Roasters, a farmers’ market favorite, has been serving cold brew in growlers since last summer.
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I recently had the opportunity to taste Boxcar’s Bottlerocket. It was a clean, flavorful, full-bodied bottle of iced coffee that will be hard to replicate in my home fridge. That said, I may still have to honor another ritual and pour mine over ice with a negligible splash of whole milk.