The Story of Bourbon County Coffee Barleywine

Earlier this year, we sent our director/dp, Sergio Salgado, down to Guatemala with the Goose Island and Intelligentsia team to learn about coffee production, coffee culture, and the similarities between the coffee and craft beer worlds. Sergio teamed up with Goose’s internal content team to film for four days in Guatemala City, Antigua, and La Soledad farm outside of Acatenango. From charging batteries with a generator to language and cultural barriers, every production comes with a new set of challenges and opportunities for growth. As they say, you learn something new every day and we couldn’t be happier with the three pieces the Goose post team cut together. Take a look.

Coffee has always been a huge part of Guatemalan culture, but a proliferation of high quality coffee roasters and cafes have shifted locals’ relationship with coffee. In a way, this curiosity and interest around high quality coffee parallels the rise in craft beer in the United States. Both coffee and beer are social experiences that bring people together, watch the Goose Island and Intelligentsia team travel to Antigua to meet the farmers at La Soledad and learn more about the role of coffee in Guatemalan culture.

Raul Perez, the owner of La Soledad farm outside of Acatenango, Guatemala, gives the Goose Island and Intelligentsia team a tour of the farm to show the unique selection and process for harvesting and roasting their coffee beans. In total, the process is a labor of love, taking days to harvest, hours to ferment, and several weeks to dry the beans before they are ready.

Raul Perez, the owner of La Soledad farm, takes the Goose Island and Intelligentsia team through the cupping process to test the year’s harvest before samples are sent out to prospective buyers. Cupping reveals the flavors expressed by each coffee: fruity, acidic, sweet, etc. For Jared Jankowski, Goose Island’s brewmaster, the coffee selection process for Bourbon County is thorough and requires the expertise and help of both the Intelligentsia team and the farm to determine the best coffee blend to compliment the beer.