Finally, a Beer Fit for Breakfast!

Reports are coming out of a very unique beer in the works from the Brooklyn Brewery. My hope is that it finally makes drinking beer before 10 AM a socially acceptable, respectable act. It seems that brewmaster Garret Oliver is looking for ways to get bacon into beer.

The reports are sketchy at best, but it appears the beer is starting out with two parallel threads that will be blended at the end. As Garret puts it  “Either this will be the most amazingly disgusting thing you’ve ever tasted in your life, or I shall rule the earth.” I must agree, but how’s he doing it?

  • A barleywine has been brewed using malt that was smoked in the same room as a batch of Benton’s bacon (Allan Benton is apparently a legend among bacon producers).
  • A brown ale is being infused with the essence of bacon fat by a process known as “fat washing.” This process has already been used to produce bacon flavored rum and bourbon apparently (who knew?). The fat is heated until completely liquid, then mixed into the beer. Then the whole thing is chilled until the fat congeals back to a solid state and rises to the top of the beer, where it’s skimmed off. In the process, the non-fat goodness of the bacon is left behind, dissolved in the beer, while the fat is removed from it. This keeps the beer from developing a greasy mouthfeel (also lipids in beer have a nasty effect on head retention as they interfere with the formation of the protein matrices that form bubbles). The brown ale will then be aged in Bourbon barrels.

In the end, these two forces will combine like antimatter to produce a beer that may very well change the world as we know it. I wait with bated breath, very excited and a little afraid…

4 thoughts on “Finally, a Beer Fit for Breakfast!

  1. Victory made a beer a few years ago the was aged in a hickory barrel. It was nasty and tasted like bacon. I don’t think bacon and beverage should go together. But I still want to try this concoction when it is done!!

  2. It’s true, if you overdo wood aging it can end up way too assertive and make the beer terrible. I’m not familiar with this specific example from Victory, but I have seen it in other cases.

    As for bacon flavors in beer, the Germans make a smoked lager style known as Rauchbier (i.e. smoke beer) that sometimes tastes like bacon. The most available examples in America are from Aecht Schlenkerla, and Mike and I agreed that the Maerzen was very, very bacony. Again, smoking the malt can be overdone. Schlenkerla always seems to overdo it, but there are some good american brewed smoke beers, Stone makes a smoked porter, and I was very impressed with Alaskan Smoked Porter when I had it in Santa Monica.

    I am curious what kind of character they’ll get out of this fat washing process, but I imagine it will be tough to isolate exactly what part of the profile is coming from that because of all the other things he’s got going on here.

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  4. There already IS a breakfast beer—-Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout!! Goes perfect with bacon and eggs!

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