By Marah Morrison
Wick Perk is a breakfast stout collaboration between Noble Creature Cask House and Stone Fruit Coffee Company in Youngstown. Noble Creature Cask House’s website describes this new beverage as a light, chocolate, coffee and oatmeal stout brewed with Wick Perk Coffee.
Ira Gerhart is the brewer who owns Noble Creature Cask House with his wife Marcy Gerhart, who is also a chef.
Ira Gerhart said he leans towards sessionable beer flavors and has 12 different beers on tap. He said he tries to keep half of the taps for funky, sour type of beers, and the other half for ales and lagers.
Ira Gerhart said he reached out to Stone Fruit because he wanted to use a local brewer for a chocolate and coffee stout. He said he knew he wanted coffee to be at the forefront and that it’s a lighter beer as far as breakfast stouts go.
“It’s some chocolate to build in some body and add another dimension, and then some pretty thick base malts to round everything out,” Ira Gerhart said.
Ira Gerhart said keeping everything balanced is something he always considers when it comes to creating new beverages. He said at the end of the day, he likes to make everything balanced and drinkable.
“If it’s like a coffee beer, there’s some lactose in that, so it’s a little more body and sweetness,” Ira Gerhart said. “So far, everyone’s been pretty supportive.”
Ira Gerhart said he enjoys the new Wick Perk and the Youngstonian, which is a crisp, clean and steadfast beer brewed for the hardworking people of Youngstown.
Marcy Gerhart said their new stout beverage went over really well and people liked it a lot. She said the collaboration with Stone Fruit was nice, and that she and her husband love Youngstown.
Marcy Gerhart said her favorite beverage at Noble Creature Cask house is Doobles on tap, which is a fruitball beer named after their dog Dobby.
She said Noble Creature Cask House’s kitchen will open in March for lunch and dinner, with breakfast planned for the future.
Syd Clayton, a manager at Stone Fruit, said the collaboration between Noble Creature Cask House and Stone Fruit is the coolest aspect of working with a small business. He said the community outreach and the opportunities they’ve had to collaborate with other local shops is exciting.
“I’m a Youngstown transplant,” Clayton said. “I’ve learned a lot about the community and the culture just through working here.”
Clayton said the collaboration makes sense because Stone Fruit brews coffee and Noble Creature Cask House brews craft beer. He said it’s kind of in the same ballpark.
Christian Powers, a barista and artist at Stone Fruit, said he loves everything about the new Wick Perk Coffee Stout. He said it is just as smooth as the Wick Perk coffee at Stone Fruit itself.
“It tastes how you would think it would taste,” Powers said. “I think you’d kind of have to like the taste of black coffee, but I feel like a lot of people could definitely get used to it.”
Powers said it’s nice to be collaborating with this new, local business and that they’ve done such an amazing job.