RIVER NORTH — A River North restaurant says it is the first Chicago eatery to brew and sell in-house "nitro" coffee, a new kind of cold java that's served out of a keg.
Beatrix, 519 N. Clark St., started selling the brew two weeks ago using Black Cat Espresso from Intelligentsia, Assistant General Manager John Economos said. The foamy cold coffee is infused with nitrogen like Guinness stout.
Though other restaurants here have rolled out nitro coffee, Economos believes Beatrix is the first to brew, add nitrogen and sell the drinks all in one place. By doing so, it is hopping on a swelling coffee craze that originated on the East and West coasts.
Nitro coffee will also be served at a new Beatrix restaurant opening this fall at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Economos said.
"People are looking for new, fun ways to drink coffee," he said. "We just like experimenting with new stuff."
WATCH: Coffee Out of a Keg
[Video by DNAinfo/David Matthews]
Economos said the drink is made by batching large brews of the coffee, then "blast chilling" it in a special refrigerator that cools the java down in an hour. Then they funnel the coffee into a keg, pump in nitrogen and let the gas settle for 48 hours. Beatrix pours the coffee into a Collins glass, and foam settles after about a minute.
Economos with a 12-ounce nitro coffee, sold for $4.25 [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
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