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March 15, 2022

Bluebird Distilling to open coffee and cocktail bar in Ardmore

Char & Stave will feature six signature roasts aged in bourbon barrels alongside a rotating menu of unique selections

Food & Drink Bars
Coffee Cocktail Ben Wentzel/Char + Stave Coffee

Char and Stave Coffee, the sister company of Bluebird Distilling, will include a full menu of drip coffee, coffee-based mocktails, coffee-themed cocktails, and traditional drinks.

Phoenixville's Bluebird Distilling is set to expand with an all-day coffee and cocktail bar called Char & Stave Coffee in Ardmore on Monday, March 21. 

The concept comes from Bluebird's owner and master distiller Jared Adkins, with the help of head distiller Scott Gilbert who has over 15 years of experience roasting coffee. Char & Stave's signature roasts will use a similar method to the one utilized at the distillery, which specializes in small-batch whiskey, rum, gin and other spirits.

The café's "barrel-aged roasts" will be aged for one to six months in the same barrels used to distill Bluebird's dark liquors. After the aging process is complete, Adkins says the beans will be roasted on a "traditional drum roaster" with virtual technology that allows for easy adjustments. They will then be bagged or brewed on-site.

"The name 'Char & Stave' comes from the barrels we use for aging our bourbon and now, coffee," said Adkins. "The stave is one of the 21 pieces of oak that make up a barrel, and the char is the inside layer of the barrel that holds the residual vanilla, bourbon, and spice notes." 

Along with its signature Four Grain Bourbon Aged Blend, Char & Stave will feature five other roasts.

Char And Stave InteriorBen Wentzel/Char + Stave Coffee

Char + Stave Coffee, the sister company of Phoenixville's Bluebird Distilling, is set to open on Monday, March 21.

These include: 

Bluebird Morning: Light roast with citrus, floral, honey notes
Everyday: Medium roast with notes of chocolate, candied fruit
Workout Fuel: Medium roast, high caffeine blend 
Dark Voodoo: Dark roast with notes of deep chocolate, dark fruit, and molasses
Adventure Espresso: Medium roast with notes of chocolate and citrus

Seasonal and limited rotating brews will also be offered, starting off with "Yirgacheffe." Sourced from Ethiopia, the blend has notes of lemon, honey and peach. Another rotating roast will be "Cajamarca," which comes from Peru and includes hints of caramel, red grape and cane sugar. 

In addition to Char & Stave's drip coffee selection, the café will feature an $8 "Drips and Drams" menu. The coffee-style cocktails include the "Char & Stave," made with barrel-aged espresso, bitters, sugar, and orange peel; the "Espresso Tonic," made with espresso, agave, tonic, citrus, and thyme; the "Café Julip," made with cold brew, mint, sugar, and crushed ice; and the "Flora & Fauna," made with espresso, lavender, milk, and black pepper. 

For those looking for a coffee-free cocktail, there are two additional offerings. The "Matcha Mojito" is composed of house-made matcha, mint, sugar, lime, and seltzer, and the "Chai Blossom" is made with house-made chai, orange, milk, and seltzer. 

The 42-seat lounge will shift to a cocktail bar in the evening, featuring a full menu of traditional and coffee-inspired cocktails, as well as mocktails. 

Char and Stave CocktailBen Wentzel/Char + Stave Coffee

The Ardmore cafe will have mocktails and cocktails available all day and into the evening, when the lights in the 42-seat lounge will dim.

The coffee-inspired cocktail menu includes: 

Ardmore Old Fashioned: Four Grain Bourbon, light roast, Angostura bitters, orange peel
Char + Stave Martini: Bluebird Vodka, espresso, toasted cardamom
Rittenhouse Manhattan: Straight Rye Whiskey, dark roast, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, chocolate bitters, Luxardo cherry
Chicory-Char: Straight Rye Whiskey, chai, anise, Peychaud's and Chicory-Pecan butters, lemon peel
Rising Sun: Sugarcane Rum, mint, lemon, honey, green and chamomile tea
Caffe Negroni: Juniperus Gin, cold brew, bitter Italian soda, orange peel

The café at 21 Rittenhouse Place will have both bagged whole beans and Bluebird Distilling's spirit offerings for sale. Whole bean coffee will be also be available for purchase at the Phoenixville distillery. 

Bluebird has tasting rooms located in The Shops at Liberty Place at 1625 Chestnut St., and in Old City at The Bourse Building at 111 S. Independence Hall. 

Char & Stave Coffee will be open Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., Friday from 7 to 12 a.m., Saturday from 8 to 12 a.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.