Behold! The Modern Times Coffee Roasting Robot

Ambex YM-2

Here’s a cool thing: as far as I can tell, we’ll be the second brewery in the country to roast our own coffee (the first appears to be Two Brothers in Chicago).

That little fire engine red machine is an Ambex YM-2, an introductory-level roaster than can handle a beastly 5 lbs of green coffee at a time. It’s far from the fanciest roaster you can buy, but I found it on Craigslist and the price was right.

The primary consumer of our house-roasted beans will be Black House, the oatmeal coffee stout that will be part of our year round line-up. At around 20 lbs of coffee per 30bbl batch, it’ll soak up a lot of grounds, but what I’m really excited about are the variations we’ll be able to make. Single origin versions of Black House, coffee versions of our other beers, blends and roasts dialed-in specifically for certain special releases, etc…

There’s also the possibility of selling bags of house-roasted beans, which would allow you to drink Black House coffee alongside Black House beer. Pretty nifty, no?

This whole thing is, of course, an experiment, and we’ll have to see how it goes. I’ve been fascinated by coffee for years now, and home roasting has become a pleasant diversion from the rigors of starting the brewery. But the key, as always, is quality, and the coffee will have to live up to the same unreasonably high standards I have for the beer.

Ambex YM-2