Story by Raeghn Draper
Photography by Jen Ede
Beyond roasting and pouring-over a great cup of coffee on Milwaukee’s west side, Valentine Coffee Roasters, in collaboration with Steven’s Point Brewery, can now add brewing to their list of achievements. “Balanced,” “drinkable,” and “approachable” are just some of the words used to describe the new beer made with Valentine coffee beans.
The combination integrates both beer and coffee’s aroma and flavor into the beverage without one overpowering the other. This could be attributed to the process; coffee isn’t just a flavor added to this beer as an afterthought. Rather, the beans are added in two phases of the beer’s brewing, imparting an honest and expressive coffee character.
“For a man in Wisconsin to have your name on a beer without having to open a brewery, that’s pretty cool.”
The collaboration has been underway for over a year and a half, prompting many on-location tastings at Steven’s Point Brewery and Valentine in Milwaukee. Neither one of the companies could have anticipated the overwhelming interest and desire from the community. The beverage hit the shelves in late September and was gone nearly as quickly. It was officially released a short while later, in time for the Great American Beer Festival in October. The drink is already being marketed in other states, and to meet this demand, Steven’s Point Brewery has more than doubled their coffee order.
The owners of Valentine are just as excited as their customers. “For a man in Wisconsin to have your name on a beer without having to open a brewery, that’s pretty cool,” said Robb Kashevarof, co-founder. Both he and Joe Gilsdorf, his partner, are happy with the way the consumers are taking to the beer and the way Steven’s Point Brewery has respected and elevated their coffee. And their opinion of the beer itself? “It’s gorgeous.”
The beer is now available at Valentine Coffee Roasters’ tasting room. Kashevarof and Gilsdorf expressed excitement for this enhancement to the atmosphere of the café, along with plans to expand their cocktail menu and food offerings. Valentine will always remain coffee producers first and foremost, but don’t be surprised if you see their coffee in other beers at a future date.
Valentine Coffee Roasters
5918 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee, WI • valentinecoffeeco.com • 414-988-8018
Raeghn Draper is a native of Milwaukee, studying baking and pastry arts at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She loves all things food, but most importantly the dessert side of things. A young entrepreneur, she sells her candied jalapenos at local farmer’s markets. Raeghn enjoys reading, writing, traveling and spending time with her family, which includes seven younger siblings.