Crux Teams Up with Riff to Create a Craft Anomaly: “Hold That Thought” Blonde Coffee Stout on Nitro


(Photo courtesy of Crux Fermentation Project)

From its inception, Riff Cold Brewed Coffee has aspired to bring craft beer’s extraordinary collaborative spirit and culture to the coffee world. With a couple months of operations under their belt, Riff’s co-founders decided it was time to start exploring a collaboration with the right craft brewery. Being a proud co-founder of both Crux Fermentation Project and Riff, Paul Evers was understandably biased. “No need to look any further! A Crux/Riff collab is obviously a no-brainer,” Evers stated. Luckily, Larry Sidor, Crux’s other co-founder, and Master Brewer / CEO, was in full agreement. It was then that Larry and his seasoned team of brewers, along with Nate Armbrust, Riff’s Co-Founder and Director of Brewing and Innovation, began an exploration of what was “beyond the obvious.”

“Beer provides such incredible endless possibilities. It was great to work with Paul and Nate on this mind-bender,” said Sidor. “I’m really delighted with how it turned out. The malt and coffee flavors work in perfect harmony, while the color of the beer makes you question if you’re really drinking a stout!”

At 6.0% ABV and 20 IBU, “Hold That Thought” might appear on paper like a traditional stout, but its unique blend of flaked oats and smoked malts combined with cocoa powder give it an unexpected golden blonde hue. The final touch was the addition of a special blend of Riff cold brewed coffees sourced from Columbia and Ethiopia, delivering notes of dark chocolate and toffee.

“While coffee tends to take a backseat in a traditional stout, this blonde puts the coffee notes front and center,” said Armbrust. “It added a unique layer to this unconventional beer. It was super fun to work out the balances of flavors and nuances with Larry and his team for our first beer collaboration.”

Being truly experimental, only a mere 18 kegs of “Hold That Thought” were produced and have very limited availability. You can find it on tap—but not for long—in Bend at Crux Fermentation Project’s Tasting Room and Washington Dining & Cocktails, and in Portland at Bailey’s Taproom, The Beer Mongers, John’s Marketplace and Urban Farmer. Of course, however, Riff was able to stash a few kegs away and will be pouring this one-of-a-kind beer in their experimental Taproom— slated to open in late October.

Crux Fermentation Project is located at the epicenter of Bend and at the heart of the brewing process. We’ve designed our brewery to allow for non-traditional brewing methods like decoction mashing, open fermentation, oak barrel aging, wild yeast strains and experimental hops. Master Brewer Larry Sidor is always in pursuit of the next great beer, whether by reinterpreting a classic style or abandoning it altogether. If you’re in Bend, stop by the Tasting Room at 50 SW Division Street, Bend, Oregon 97702. You can also find Crux at cHYPERLINK “”, or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Riff is Paul Evers, co-founder of Crux Fermentation Project; Nate Armbrust, former head of product development and cold brew operations at Stumptown; Steve Barham, former senior director at LinkedIn; and Bobby Evers and Kevin Smyth, both with deep experience in craft beer branding and operations. And Riff is so much more— an enthusiastic and diverse tribe of investors, employees, partners, and you.

When we riff on an idea, we start with a question: What if? What if we brewed coffee cold, for a sweeter, smoother flavor? What if we poured it on tap? Into a glass, not a mug? What if we met for coffee in the evening? With friends, and maybe—gasp—without wifi? What if it weren’t sacrilegious to drink our coffee decaffeinated, spiced, fruited, or even barrel fermented with wild yeast? Now we’re talking. Let’s Riff! For more information visit or call 458-206-0825.


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