Video by Gabe Pocrass, CTV 11.
After drinking “Sad Panda” by Horse & Dragon Brewing Company, I was definitely not sad.
I was actually very happy with this beer.
Horse & Dragon is a brewery straight from Fort Collins and it was founded in May of 2014. I could honestly see this brewery making some more noise in the future because every big craft brewery has that one beer that really stands out, and Sad Panda is one of those beers.
It’s a coffee stout with 7.5 percent ABV, no IBU’s. It has flavors of coffee (obviously), vanilla and chocolate. However, before you say, “But Gabe, usually stouts have those flavors in them,” let me explain.
The number one thing about this beer that I loved was that the flavors exposed themselves in layers.
When you first drink the beer, you get the coffee taste… You keep drinking the beer, you get the vanilla taste… I then started to detect some almond or nut-like taste (there wasn’t any almond or nut flavor in the beer, but I got some from it). And, finally, I started to taste a nice, authentic chocolate flavor. It was actually really cool!
The best way I can describe this drinking experience was that it was a delicious and fun beer to drink.
After speaking with Horse & Dragon Sales Representative, Luke Margheim, he explained to me that Horse & Dragon actually adds the coffee into the beer after the fermentation and boiling has been done. I feel like this may be an obvious thing to know, but I guess I never really thought about it before.
“Any type of sugar that can be added to a beer during the brewing process will actually be fermented out in most cases,” Margheim said.
He also told me that Horse & Dragon makes their coffee “Toddy,” which is a 16-hour process of extracting the coffee from the coffee beans so it is less harsh and stringent.
This also made sense. So, while Horse and Dragon is making the actual beer, they are also making the coffee to mix in with it.
I call it “two arts coming together.” It really gave me a lot more respect for this beer and coffee stouts in general.
After finishing Sad Panda, I am giving it a rating of 8.5 out of 10.
Collegian Beer Reviewer Gabe Pocrass can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @Gpocrass.