Stumptown's Cold Brew in Nitro Cans Is Beer-Inspired Coffee Innovation

Nitro cold brew cans at Stumptown's downtown facilityEXPAND
Nitro cold brew cans at Stumptown's downtown facility
Sarah Bennett

If you thought having your coffee come out of a beer tap was cool, now there's an even crazier way to get your daily joe. After revolutionizing the specialty coffee market by bottling cold brewed coffee, then by kegging it, then by serving it on nitro (like Guinness), Stumptown Coffee Roasters has achieved next-level coffee packaging: nitro cold brew in cans. 

Released last week and currently only available at Stumptown's Portland and Los Angeles cafes, the can looks like it would contain craft beer or some throwback soda. But inside these 12-ounce aluminum beauties (retail price $5-$5.50) is a pressurized version of the company's popular nitrogen cold brew blend, along with a small widget full of the gas that is released as soon as you crack open to top.

The resulting coffee is just as silky and smooth as the cold brew you would get from a nitrogen tap handle at Stumptown's downtown roastery and cafe (or any location that carries Stumptown's draft cold brew; we like Alfred on Melrose Place and Lo/Cal in Santa Monica). Plus, if you pour it into a glass, there's a visually pleasing cascading effect, like you'd find on a pint of Left Hand Milk Stout or Guinness. 

"A lot of the equipment we use is from the beer industry," says Diana Aylsworth, Stumptown's Director of Cold Brew. 

She says the cold brew nitro cans mark the first time Stumptown has tested a new product outside of Portland, its home market. She says they chose L.A. because it's been the most receptive to all of their cold brew products, which started with the stubby bottles in 2011.

Beginning this week, the nitro cans also will be available at Whole Foods throughout the region, with a national launch planned for fall.

"L.A. is pretty amazing for us as a cold brew market," Aylsworth says. "Obviously the weather has a big impact, but culturally, a lot of folks are into cold coffee. L.A. far over-indexes other markets as far as cold brew consumption."


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