Shedding The Light On The Long Black

If we asked you to name a beer synonymous with UnBarred, what would you say? Joosy, Stoutzilla, Casual, The Long Black…? All of those are of course spot on, but if you went with the latter then we reckon you’ve been here for a while, or you know your UnBarred history. Our luxurious cold-weather Porter is a true heritage beer in the UnBarred story. First brewed in the shed where we started our journey, bottled and sold through a very select amount of local bottle shops. After its success Jordan took to local landmark, The Watchmakers Arms, to rebrew this flavoursome Porter to be a part of Rick’s micro-pub beer festival.

We’ve come a long way since then, and so has this beer. However, in true UnBarred style, we never lost sight of the beer's roots, no matter how much the recipe evolved. Jordan encapsulated his love of the traditional robust Porter, whilst making the recipe wholly UnBarred with his careful choices of coffee and malt as best to get the most out of this beer.

After a bit of a hiatus, The Long Black’s returned last year as a cask-only special. Jordan took the opportunity to work with our friends at Brighton’s prestigious coffee roasters, The Milk Shed, when choosing the coffee that would best lend a sumptuous flavour profile to this beer. Taking part in a ‘cupping’ with the Milk Shed team, we tried numerous amazing coffees, including the one we decided would be the ideal pairing in this recipe - the Elox. The coffee delivered a creamy macadamia body, crisp, green apple acidity, berries and a delicious cacao nib finish that finished the beer so well that we decided to stick with it for 2024.

If you're huge coffee aficionados like us then you’ll probably want to know more, right? This fantastic coffee hails from the Sierra Mazateca region to the north of Oaxaca City, Eloxochitlán de Florés Magon, an area characterised by dramatic mountainous topography and remote access. Production yields are small, with most producers in the association harvesting less than one bag of coffee per year. Although challenging at times, the climate and altitude also lend themselves to positive cup attributes, and coffees from the Mazaeteca number among the most complex and highest quality of Mexican lots. Elox is no exception. A washed processed coffee, Elox is fermented for 48 hours before being dried on petates, traditional hand-woven mats offering vibrancy and balance.

Enough about the coffee we hear you say - what about the beer?! For 2024 we decided to launch in cask and can, with the latter being conditioned in the can for the cask-like feel. This means that in its journey The Long Black has been in all formats save for keg. The beer delivers intense aromas of freshly brewed coffee, malt sweetness and dark berries.  Silky smooth chocolate and a dark roasted malt backbone sit alongside notes of red berries from English Brambling Cross hops all balanced with fresh, cold pressed coffee. The Mexican blend coffee, Elox, is cold pressed and steeped overnight to extract more flavour and less bitterness, and blended in to the beer to further enrich the fruity charter of this robust porter with the coffees notes of redcurrant, apple, raspberry & cocoa nibs.

The Long Black is available now on cask at all good pubs, including The Watchmakers for old times sake! You’ll also be able to grab pints of cask in our taproom, and cans available in the taproom fridges and on our webshop.