Coffee paired with beer? Of course.
Since launching three years ago, Modern Times Beer has been one of the few breweries on the planet to roast its own coffee. During most of that time, it's been selling cold brew and fresh beans through its tasting rooms and assorted accounts around town. On Labor Day, Modern Times added an even rarer distinction — serving hot brewed coffee and espresso within its tasting room. "We're definitely the first brewery with a café on site," says founder Jacob McKean.
3725 Greenwood Street, San Diego
The coffee counter sits inside Modern Times' colorful Lomaland Fermentorium tasting room and has decorative details to match. While comic book pages taken from McKean's personal collection line the tasting room's walls, the newly built coffee bar is plastered with 1980s trading cards like Garbage Pail Kids.
There's also a four-tap cold brew tower fashioned from an antique brass diving helmet. Cold brew has long been a focus of the company, which initially developed its Black House coffee blend to flavor a coffee stout of the same name. That has been Modern Times' signature coffee product and, this summer, it even began distributing the cold brew in 12-ounce cans. The new café serves an expanding line of cold brew single origins and blends, and McKean says at least one of these will also make its way into cans.
But it's the barista-made drinks that really push Modern Times' coffee program forward. The café's high-tech brewing components include a programmable Synesso MVP Hydra to dial in espresso drinks, while a semi-automated Pour Steady pour-over device drastically reduces the length of time required to brew single cups fresh, to order.
Modern Times espresso drinks may be the biggest draw in the new shop, though another benefit to watch out for is the opportunity to order mugs of the company's rare barrel-aged coffees. McKean says Modern Times possesses "the biggest barrel-aged coffee program in the world."
The new café is currently in a soft open phase, and will grand open September 22.