We’ve got this family friend who owns a craft beer brewery in Chicago, so when he visited this summer I got to learn all about how beer was made. Not that I asked. I always make fun of alcohol snobs, maybe because I don’t know better, but in my family, expertise on trendy booze seems to be genetic. I do know more about wine than I should for someone who’s not yet 21.
Even though I roll my eyes at my relatives when they throw words around like “hoppy” or “dry” and swirl their glasses, sticking their noses in the wine before they take a sip, I realized recently that I did inherit some snobbery. My concern is with coffee, so when I found out about this nitro cold brew coffee that I’ve been seeing around, I decided to look into it.
Nitro cold brew is a coffee drink which is infused with nitrogen gas to create a smooth, light finish. It actually comes out of a tap, like a nitrogen-infused beer (like Guinness). It’s relatively new, originating only five years ago at Cuvee Coffee Bar in Austin, Texas. Todd Christy from Chilmark Coffee Co. heard about it and was the first to bring it to Martha’s Vineyard, introducing it at the Farmers Market. Though hard to find on this Island, it’s extremely popular — he sold more than two gallons of the stuff in only two and a half hours.
Todd says it’s really no different from their 24-hour cold brew (which is what it’s made from); maybe the coffee’s bubbles just feel cooler in your mouth. Still, I don’t care, I’m a sucker for novelty drinks. This coffee’s so good, and I don’t put anything in it.
Three years ago, Todd introduced nitro brew to Joel Glickman and Jennifer LoRusso at the Chilmark General Store, and they’ve been serving it ever since. They too, claim it’s a favorite among customers, so it’s a wonder why more people don’t sell it here. Some other places that have it, like Sweet Bites in Vineyard Haven, use a keg system called Nobl, which you can purchase yourself to make nitro brew at home.
Nitro brew is apparently sweeping the nation, with Martha’s Vineyard not falling too far behind. You can pick up a glass of nitro cold brew at the Chilmark General Store, Sweet Bites in Vineyard Haven, or every Wednesday and Saturday at the West Tisbury Farmers Market from Chilmark Coffee Co.