Austin coffee roaster and beer brewer team up for behind the scenes tour

Up & Down Tour Photo by Nicki LemonVisitors learn more about the brewing process from South Austin Brewery during the Up and Down Tour.[/caption]

A local coffee roaster and brewery are combining for a dual tour to show visitors how their products are made.

The Up & Down Tour, hosted by Casa Brasil and South Austin Brewery, has been on hold for some time since starting two-and-a-half years ago. Casa Brasil Founder Joel Shuler said he is pursuing a master's in coffee brewing from outside the U.S., but now that program is nearly complete he is close to being back in Austin for good. As a result, he and South Austin Brewery Brew Master Eric Wolf intend to host tours monthly moving forward.

"We have so much in common with our two businesses and what we do everyday," Wolf said. "We have a new beer coming out in the next few weeks using [Casa Brasil] coffee, so its kind of the perfect time to relaunch the tour."

The beer that blends Casa Brasil coffee, called Crossroads Coffee Stout, should be ready for consumers late January or early February, Wolf said.

Both businesses are located at 415 E. Elmo Road where the tours will take place. Visitors will start the day with an in-depth look at how Casa Brasil obtains and roasts its coffee before being served lunch. Attendees then gain a behind-the-scenes look at the South Austin Brewery brewing process.

"Behind each cup theres also a story," Shuler said. "Coffee can be a source of caffeine or it can be a timeout during the day to enjoy a beverage."

Tickets costs $35 per person with two tours currently scheduled, one for Jan. 17 and another Feb. 7. The Jan. 17 tour was originally scheduled for Jan. 10 but was moved due to concerns of icy road conditions.

Both craft coffee and craft beer brewers have gained notoriety in Austin in the past few years. Shuler said he credits the increase in exposure to people learning more about how local coffee roasters create their product and its superiority to name brands such as Folgers Coffee.

More people are starting to demand higher-quality products in Austin and in other cities around the world, Wolf said, leading to the boom of craft beers and coffees.

"I think Austin's just really a place where people strive for something better constantly," Wolf said."People want something that's authentic and something that's high quality. A lot of these breweries and a lot of coffee roasters that are gaining a lot of popularity right now are really meeting people's needs and desires in Austin."