Landlords of an unusual Victorian bar have joined forces with two artisan drinks businesses to create Teesside’s own craft beer – Mocha Chocca Porter.
The idea came about when The Twisted Lip’s owners, Erica and Matthew Saul, were chatting about wanting to sell locally made alcohol and food in their bar, while giving customers something different and new.
Matthew, 34, says: “We try really hard to use suppliers from the area, as we think it’s good for the local economy. I had a chat with my friend Matt Power from Truefitt beers and we talked about selling some sort of porter.
“Then the idea came to make it a coffee blend and I knew straight away we needed to use Rounton Coffee, who supply our coffee beans.”
The Mocha Chocca Porter is being sold in the Middlesbrough bar using coffee from North Yorkshire based Rounton and porter from Truefitt Beers.
The porter, which is a type of dark beer, is being made in Matt’s brewery in Middlesbrough, together with Peruvian chocolate and Rounton Coffee’s ‘Granary Blend’, which is ground in East Rounton, near Hutton Rudby.
Rounton Coffee is run from an old renovated granary building by David Beatty and business partner/girlfriend Tracy Lee, who are both 36.
They started up their business after David returned from travelling in South East Asia. He was inspired to supply top quality roasted coffee to Teessiders, and in the process supply a fair wage to the coffee farmers he had visited.
David says: “We are really excited to be working with Matt, Erica and Matthew and creating something unique for the people of the area.
“The public are more aware of how their coffee and beer should taste now I feel, and also care about where it comes from.”
Matt, 32, runs his brewery in North Ormesby, Middlesbrough. A former outdoor pursuit’s instructor, he spent many years as a brewery assistant before setting us his business two years ago.
“It was great to collaborate with other businesses on a project like this,” he says.
“This isn’t about making a lot of money but taking the time to produce something people will really savour and enjoy.”
The Twisted Lip on Baker Street opened in July, and has already carved out a reputation for its alternative take on the typical Middlesbrough night out.
Erica, 36, says: “We have poetry readings, live music and DJs, but in a comfortable setting and somewhere people want to go to experience something a bit different.
“We like the Victorian way, before people had smart phones and gadgets, when people would just sit down at a public house and have a chat with their mates.”
The Mocha Chocca Porter is available now. Visit the Twisted Lip’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheTwistedLipMiddlesbrough , for more information.