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Updated: March 2, 2020

Shipyard partnership releases nitro cold brew coffee that might be good for you

Courtesy / Raya On Assignment Holding glasses of newly launched Live & Grind Coffee Co.’s resveratrol-infused Nitro Cold Brew are, from left, John P. Jabar III, Shipyard Brewing Co. owner Fred Forsley, Vera Coffee Co. founder Glen Miller and Vera Coffee president and CEO Tom Polcaro.

The nitro cold brew coffee market continues to heat up in Maine.

Shipyard Brewing Co. in Portland said it has partnered with Vera Coffee Co. in Dover, N.H., to release a joint-venture nitro cold brew coffee as a canned product. 

Branded as Live & Grind Coffee Co., the venture is producing the world’s only cold brew coffee infused with resveratrol, according to a news release. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring chemical compound that some say is heart-healthy.

Live & Grind Coffee Co.’s Nitro Cold Brew Cans debuted last weekend at Sunday River Ski Resort in Bethel, John Jabar, a commercial real estate agent who is working with Shipyard owner Fred Forsley on the project, told Mainebiz.

The partnership came about when Vera Coffee last summer contacted Forsley for Shipyard’s brewing and distribution capabilities, said Jabar. 

Resveratrol (pronounced rez-VERA-trawl) is a polyphenol in the skins of red grapes and other plants, according to Vera Coffee’s website.

The company cites several scientific studies over the past 30 years claiming resveratrol can play a beneficial role in cardiovascular health and healthy aging, working as an antioxidant at the cellular level to help prevent inflammation. 

Organic chemistry

Vera Coffee Co. was founded in 2015 by an organic chemist, Glen Miller,  who found a way to infuse coffee beans with resveratrol. 

“After a successful launch of our kegged cold brew coffee, it only made sense to create a canned version coffee that is easy for anyone to grab on the go,” Tom Polcaro, president and CEO of Vera Coffee Co., said in a news release. 

A pilot program between Vera Coffee and Shipyard, last summer, introduced the kegged product on draft to Maine, said Jabar. Vera Coffee uses a patented infusion process, then roasts and grinds the bean before delivering them to Shipyard’s brewing facility on Newbury Street. The partners produced more than 36 kegs of 12-ounce pours.

The kegged product proved successful, said Jabar. 

The ready-to-drink canned product and Live & Grind branding was the next phase, he said. Each 12-ounce can has 300 milligrams of caffeine.

“We’re in discussions  now with distribution channels throughout Maine,” he said.

Courtesy / Raya On Assignment
Shipyard Brewing Co. is partnering on a new nitro coffee brand called Live & Grind.

Initial production for the launch was 2,600 cans. About half was distributed through the formal launch event at Sunday River, where the partners donated kegs of the product to the Sunday River Ski and Snowboard Club and also handed out the cans, he said.

The joint venture company utilizes about eight existing employees who have been traveling between Portland and Dover to develop operations, he said.

Last month, Coffee Hound Coffee Bar and Roastery in Bar Harbor and Geaghan Bros. Pub and Brewery in Bangor announced they were partnering to scale up production and distribution of nitrogen-infused cold-brew coffee for keg sales, utilizing Geaghan’s brewery capabilities in Brewer.

Cold-brew coffee was originally designed as an alternative to making iced coffee by pouring hot coffee over ice. Nitrogen is infused through a specialized pressurizing system to give the brew a creamy taste and texture.

White Cap Coffee in South Portland was an early brewer of nitro cold brew, starting in 2016.

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