From the Kitchen

Café Kubal grand opening will feature double the buzz with coffee infused beer

Lucy Naland | Presentation Director

Beer with a caffeinated buzz will be joining the lineup of beverages Friday at the grand opening of the sixth Café Kubal location. The newest edition to the local café chain will be located in a residential and retail building at 712-714 E. Fayette St.

The owners of Empire Brewing Co. reached out to Café Kubal about the idea approximately three years ago, said Breanne Barzee, general manager of Empire Brewing Co.

“People like coffee-flavored beer so we figured as one of our initiatives to support local businesses, we would find a local coffee producer and see if they would be interested in doing a coffee collaboration.”

Currently Empire Brewing Co. is partnered with almost 30 businesses and agricultural producers in the central New York area. Café Kubal is one of the latest editions to the list.

“Local Grind,” the name of the new beer, is a Scotch Ale infused with a custom blend of Guatemalan beans. Most beer and coffee combinations are done with Scotch Ales due to the slight sweetness and maltiness of the drink, making it a great pairing with coffee’s distinct flavors. The name is a play on the beer having a local tie and it being made with coffee grinds, Barzee said.

Empire Brewing Co. has been brewing with coffee from Café Kubal Coffee Roaster for a long time, but they thought it would be a good idea to do a combination release party for the new location and “Local Grind” in a limited edition four pack.

The brew will run until it is sold out at the locations that carry them.

“I would guess it would probably be gone in about two or three weeks,” Barzee said. “It’s one of our top sellers.”

Tim Butler, Empire’s brewmaster, is the mastermind behind the blend. Barzee added that he’s been brewing for so long and has a knack for it that he can just figure out what works — whether it means tweaking an old recipe or creating a new one.

Barzee said she’s never tasted a Butler brew that was bad — 99.99 percent of the time the flavor is “out of this world.”

Leading up to the launch party, punch cards will be available at the different Café Kubal locations as well as at Empire Brewing Co. Customers get one punch with each purchase of a beverage, after completing five punches from Café Kubal and five from Empire Brewing Co. they can get a free beverage at the party, Barzee said. The idea is that customers who regularly frequent the brewery will feel motivated to get the five other punches on their card at Kubal, and vice versa.

“That’s business being shared between both local businesses,” Barzee said.

Barzee said she is looking forward to the party not just because of the collaboration, but also the food. One of the chefs from Empire Brewing Co. will be cooking for the event and making some coffee infused foods including a red-eye gravy.

Though the party will feature two grown-up beverages — beer and coffee — it is still meant to have a family-friendly atmosphere. Many of those involved in the production of the coffee and of the beer have families with kids and it was important that everybody be able to attend and enjoy.

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