A pleasant aromatic profile and hearty flavors elevate a simple daily routine into a well-spent culinary afternoon. One way to do that is to connect your sense memories around food and beverage together. Tell a story with your choices, like starting with a coffee roast from Dayglow and then following that soon after with the Coffee Stout from Nightglow. R02 employs Dayglow's S01, a Costa Rican coffee bean from Tarrazu: "this Costa Rican coffee has a sugary flan like sweetness with a soft acidity of lime. As it cools we get some nice dark fruit and a clean finish."
Dayglow's aesthetically chill coffee bar sits inside the north end of the Kimball Arts Center. There's an extensive list of uniquely processed beans and coffee drinks here. While a Nightglow space for takeout isn't a current thing at Kimball Arts Center, I believe the beer is contracted brewed at Ørkenoy in the same facility. There's probably still time to find R02 in the Chicagoland area but I'd hurry, as Nightglow batch sizes aren't enormous and there's no telling if this beer gets re-made or if they switch to a new bean and beer combination.
From the Nightglow website: "R02 is a Coffee Stout brewed w/ a medley of caramel, brown, chocolate and roasted malts for a rich and smooth roasty character. We added Dayglow S01, to add complexity. Expect notes of dark chocolate cake, dark fruit and a velvety mouthfeel."
What you get in the final product is a deep but smoothed out roast character that ends with hints of dark fruit and dark chocolate cake. While many coffee stouts end up leaning into the bitterness of their roasts, this one floats on a bittersweet edge that keeps you coming back for more sips, even as it fulfills a delightful dessert role. The 8.4% is warming but well-hidden behind the malt and coffee. Not even a bit hyperbolic, this ended up one of my favorite beers of 2022 (if that list goes to print at all, look for it at the end of December).