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The release of Black Ivory Stout on February 22 brings together a world-renowned brewer and the producer of the most exclusive coffee on the planet to raise money for the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.
Here’s something you don’t see every day – the producer of the world’s most exclusive and expensive coffee teaming up with one of the world’s most respected and distinguished craft beer brewers in Bangkok to support Thai elephants.
For the release of the new Mikkeller Black Ivory Coffee Stout on February 22, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø from Mikkeller will join Blake Dinkin from Black Ivory Coffee Company and John Edward Roberts from the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation at Mikkeller Bangkok, the brewer’s namesake bar set inside a slick renovated house in Ekkamai.
All profits from the evening will go to the foundation, which, among other endeavours, rescues elephants, as well as mahouts and their families, and works with the Thai government and other organisations in big-picture projects.
The stout – from a style of dark beers distinguished by lots of roasted flavours evened out with rich and sweet elements – was brewed at WarPigs Brewpub in Denmark and features Black Ivory Coffee, the world’s most exclusive and expensive coffee beans.
Black Ivory has an interesting backstory. The production process starts with villagers picking select Arabica coffee beans in the hills of Chiang Mai. The beans are then sent to Surin, where they refine naturally as they slowly move through the digestive systems of street-rescued Thai elephants. Once they’ve passed through the elephants, mahouts and their wives handpick the beans before they are sun-dried, roasted and packaged. The painstaking process produces one of the smoothest coffees on the planet, as the elephant’s digestive system strips away the coffee beans’ bitter proteins.
The coffee can be found at five-star resorts throughout Asia, including luxury retreats in Thailand such as the Anantara Golden Triangle, Anantara Layan and W Retreat Koh Samui, and the beans can be bought on the brand’s website – along with a 19th-century French syphon brewer, which is a pretty nifty gadget in its own right.
Meanwhile, the Mikkeller brand has gained a reputation not just for its so-called “gypsy” ethos, but also for Bjergsø’s bravado and vision. The brewmaster – and former maths and chemistry teacher – frequently collaborates with other brands, brews many eclectic and daring styles, and has expanded rapidly in recent years. Mikkeller bars can now be found on three continents and in eight countries, including the bar in Ekkamai, the second of its kind to open outside of Denmark.
Interestingly enough, Mikkeller still operates as a gypsy brewery. Meaning, it doesn’t have its own premises, but rather is brewed on an itinerant basis at other facilities.
At the event, the bar will serve Black Ivory Stout on draft from 5pm onwards and sell a limited amount of 750ml bottles. Black Ivory will also be available on draft and syphon-brewed. Above all, this is an opportunity for beer geeks to meet one of the world’s best brewers – one who doesn’t come to Bangkok very often – and for coffee connoisseurs to sample some truly rare brews while raising money for a good cause.