Modern Times is a brewery in San Diego that also happens to make really good coffee, including quite possibly the largest bourbon barrel-aged coffee production in the world. We spoke with Amy Krone, Director of Coffee, and we also drank some of their coffee. And their beer.
Ray: Today we’re talking about Modern Times Brewery and Roastery in San Diego, California.
Point Loma right? Point Loma, San Diego which, I don’t know is a neighborhood?
Ray: So we are actually tasting their beer: City of the Dead.
Kandace: Mmm. It’s like I’m getting away with something.
Ray: So this is the City of the Dead. Can you tell us anything about this Kandace?
Kandace: This is going to be available tomorrow, March 1st. So, we have the only bottle in existence. I don’t think we’re supposed to drink it. This is made with bourbon barrel aged coffee.
Kandace: How do they do that?
Ray: So I actually talked with Amy Krone, who is head of roasting there, and, she told us a little about that.
Amy: Yeah, it’s tasty. (laughs) I’m Amy Krone, I am the director of coffee at Modern Times Beer or Modern Times Coffee, depending on what you’re talking about. In this case, it’s coffee.
So basically what you do, is you take a dry spirit or wine barrel and you put green coffee into it. And because that barrel has had something in it before, it’s going to smell like whatever it was.
Whether it’s wine or rum or bourbon…and when you put the green coffee in, the green coffee is going to accept that flavor…or that aroma and, when you roast it, it doesn’t go away.
We’re definitely not the first people to do this. I think Ceremony Coffee Roasters in Maryland is probably the first that I know of. But I think and, I don’t know if this is true, but, I would guess that we have the largest barrel aged coffee production in the world…maybe.
Ray: It’s empty!
Kandace: That’s weird it’s totally empty.
Ray: Yeah you’re terrible! So we drank the coffee before the show and it is also delicious. They actually sent us some to try and then we got this round.
Kandace: So, something that’s interesting to me about this barrel aged coffee, is that it’s not something that they’re just producing for beer, but this is a coffee that goes out with their subscription every month, and then, it sounds as though the subscription is getting popular enough that there’s not usually much left over but if there is you can get it.
Amy: So, every month, we do, two bags of coffee to subscribers. One, is 90% of the time going to be a barrel aged coffee. The other 10% of the time it’s going to be like a single origin that we’re really stoked about, or maybe it’s our seasonal blend that we do. But yeah, just sign up!
Subscribers get first priority on the barrel aged coffee. And also note in these letters if they wanna add more to their order, they can add more, but just subscribers, not anyone else in the world. And then whatever’s left over, which now is only like maybe ten bags that we sell in our tasting room.
Ray: You know the coffee’s good, you know Modern Times is serious about their coffee so…
Ray: They’re taking the trouble to do all of the right stuff. They just got back from Brazil, which Amy said they found some really exciting coffees so…
Amy: Our first shop tray coffee is from Brazil. We headed down their last…August to do a gourmet collaboration beer, with a brewery in Sao Paolo and then, we headed up to Mina Gerais, that Carmópolis de Minas, and we picked out a couple coffees from this really awesome cooperative up there called Cocarive.
The Brazilian coffees totally blew my mind this year. I had no idea that , well I knew that they were natural processing coffees but , I had no idea that they would be so…so fruity and flavorful. Uh, usually when you think Brazil you think like, pretty mild, nutty, chocolatey, but the ones that we were tasting were just like, straight up strawberry.
Kandace: Modern Times was named after a that was in the area. Was that commune named after the movie? Or was that movie named after the commune?
Kandace: Well when did the movie come out?
Kandace: And when did the commune come out?
Ray: I don’t know.
Kandace: We’re gonna find out.
Ray: What I love about this design is that it is kind of retro, yet modern. Like, contemporary. Like it really has this feeling of being from the 50s or earlier like it has this sort of brave new world kind of look and yet….I love the @ModernTimesBeer design. It is retro, yet modern. It has this brave new world look. Click To Tweet
Kandace: And they always bring in a really nice pop of color.
Ray: Yeah, that’s an interesting…this is sort of their house colors.
Ray: Pop of color.
I look nice today! How bout this guy?
I think coffee and beer combined is the next frontier.
Kandace: Oh it’s here.
Ray: It’s right here right now?
Kandace: Yeah. It’s right here. They’ve done it.
Ray: It’s also the next frontier.
Kandace: It’s the modern time.
Ray: Oh! See what you did there…Coffee and beer combined is the next frontier. Click To Tweet
The packaging, it really, you know…
Kandace: It’s gorgeous! It’s really nice!
Ray: Yeah. It does….I just can’t say enough about how well it..how playful it is and how it conjures old machinery logos or something and like, even the bottle cap. I mean look at that…Look at the bottle cap!
Kandace: So, we have had the pleasure of trying three coffees now…two beers…All in all I would say, just, beautiful design, great coffee and beer! Yeah. Can we just high five?
Ray: Modern Times! Wait….
Kandace: What? Did we miss something?
Ray: Should we throw something? (throws something)
Kandace: Oh my God!