Coffee lovers, rejoice: There’s a new place in Downtown Evansville to get your fix. Joe Brewski, the popular, custom cold brew cart that frequents area farmers markets, has set up shop just off Main Street.
About four and a half years ago, Nate Templeton wheeled his coffee cart into the Historic Newburgh Farmers Market. Appearances at Market on Main and Franklin Street Bazaar came next. The buzz about Joe Brewski — which really ramped up this past spring, Templeton says — led operations to outgrow their original workspace. Joined by friend Dustin Whobrey, who became a full partner this March, Templeton landed at 10 N.W. Sixth Street, the former home of Bliss on Sixth, and recently opened their doors for grab-and-go business.
Their menu is as unexpected as the story behind their company logo. Years ago, Templeton’s friend Casey McCoy, a local Realtor with Keller Williams, sent Templeton a funny selfie one day. Templeton slapped an illustrated filter on the photo and sent it back to McCoy, and the two shared a good laugh. Later, while brainstorming a company logo, Templeton recalled his friend’s selfie and decided that photo would be the perfect face — literally, the face — of Joe Brewski, so named for common coffee-related terms.
The brew bros aren’t resting on their success: They roast 40 gallons of beans — good for 60 gallons of coffee — every 7-10 days to keep the coffee’s flavor fresh.
“That’s our goal. We want to have a nice, smooth coffee,” Whobrey says. “We let the coffee speak for itself.”
Salted caramel, Brazil straight nitro, and bourbon barrel stout cold brew flavors are currently on tap at the Sixth Street storefront and available in 64-ounce growlers, as are chocolate porter and choco-latte. Twelve-ounce bottles of refreshing strawberry lemonade, airy maple cream soda, and enticing lavender lemonade are also for sale. All products are handmade — roasted, brewed, bottled, and capped — by the brew crew.
“We want to show that there’s a big difference in quality coffee,” Whobrey says. “When we were at the markets, we’d keep a tally of how many non-coffee drinkers we could bring over (to liking coffee).”
Evansville Living Staff Writer Dallas Carter has been staunchly anti-coffee, and even she is won over by the smooth brews.
“Anyone who knows me knows I harbor a true disdain for all things coffee: the smell, the taste, even the essence of mocha flavors in desserts,” she says. “Somehow, I found myself walking out of Joe Brewski with a full cup of the salted caramel cold brew, which I downed before we even made it back to our office a short walk down Main Street. The salted caramel is a smooth, delectable treat to satisfy both your caffeine addiction and candy cravings, while also being the perfect choice for coffee beginners.”
Senior Graphic Designer Casey Scarbrough is decidedly not a coffee beginner, and she gravitates toward Joe Brewski’s stronger brews.
“I love strong, dark coffee, and the Brazil nitro had the best bold flavor. It would totally be my pick for a morning coffee,” she says.
As for me, the bourbon barrel stout is where my taste buds lie. Made with a beer stout and “aged” in a bourbon barrel, you can taste delicious traces of both beer and bourbon. But this brew is family friendly. The stout’s alcohol is brewed out, giving the beverage an ABV of exactly zero.
The bourbon barrel stout is Scarbrough’s favorite, too. She labels it “sweeter than the Brazil nitro, but not too sweet; creamy, but still robust.”
(At this point in our interview’s taste test, there was a cacophony of yummy-sounding murmurs going around our trio, causing Whobrey to laugh and declare, “Our milkshake does bring all the girls to the yard.”)
What’s next for Joe Brewski? Taking orders for pick-up, customizing blends for area schools, providing products for school fundraisers, and establishing partnerships with more local restaurants and bars. Joe Brewski products are available at Rounders Too on North Green River Road, Read Street BBQ north of Downtown Evansville, The Foundry on Main, and The Milk Barn food truck. The cold brew crew also delivers kegs of its products to business and restaurant partners in Bloomington, Indiana.
Ramping up local growler deliveries is also on the horizon. This service is already a sweet deal because there’s no delivery fee — growlers of dairy brews cost $16 and non-dairy versions $18, the same as in-store prices. Joe Brewski offers another growler deal: Buy your first, bring it back to the store clean, and Joe Brewski will refill it off the tap for a dollar of the regular price.
“We want to build our business at a nice, smooth pace,” he says. And that means focusing on “delivering love,” one cup of cold brew at a time.