“Greg never has a second pint at home,” notes my wife, making fun of the old Folders crystals commercials from yesteryear. The beer, as it were, is Beachwood’s Pablo Nitro Porter, canned using traditional Juan Valdez methods that bring 100% Columbian coffee to a smooth-drinking dark ale.
It took a few sips to realize I’ve had the beer before at the source and is easily one of my favorite beer names of all time: Pablo Escobeer, named after the most notorious Columbian drug lords to ever live.
Pouring a nitro beer from a can is half the fun. “Invert can three times, open and pour hard, wait for cascade, enjoy!” says the back of the label.
Nitrogenating beer in cans isn’t new, but it seems like doing so without the use of a widget is. There’s a lot of trial and error with getting a certain beer properly dosed with nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas so it will not only pour beautifully but maintain a proper nitro-esque head leaving satisfying creamy mouthfeel.
The whole point of nitrogenated beers is to mimic cask-poured pub ales, where the beer has extremely fine bubbles, a latte-like foam head, and non-prickly carbonation. Turns out, the latte-like head is the key to it working so well with coffee-infused stouts.
Beachwood has had a huge amount of success infusing coffee into their beers, most notably Mocha Machine and System of a Stout that have won awards at the Great American Beer Festival, and Pablo Escobeer at the 2018 World Beer Cup.
Pablo smells more like a coffee than it does a beer, yet the flavor is more like beer than it is coffee. There’s this weird dichotomy of malt and bean in this beer that makes it such a perfect balance.
Will we ever see Naughty Sauce in a can? Who knows. Until then, I’ll happily buy Pablo
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening this June!