[Editors' Note: We're happy to welcome our newest, and first, regional correspondent, Johanna. Johanna is a native of Michigan, one of our favorite states for craft beer, and will be writing about beer made in and distributed to the Great Lakes region. She discovered craft beer at the Keweenaw Brewing Company brewpub in Houghton, MI...but we'll let her tell you the story of how she got into craft beer in a future article. We met Johanna over Twitter (her handle is @Hufr0, say hello). She asked us about the "Drink Craft Beer Meeting" we had one night and how one gets into the club. After several emails back and forth, here we are! So, Johanna, welcome to the club! We're incredibly glad to have you as a member of the Drink Craft Beer team!
Are you a good writer? Do you like interacting with people? Do you love craft beer? Do you think you fit in with the mission of Drink Craft Beer? Do you want to be our next regional Drink Craft Beer correspondent? Get in touch with us and let's talk.]
Founders Breakfast Stout is an oatmeal coffee stout with both Sumatra and Kona beans. Much like coffee the stout smells sweeter than it tastes. It's 8.3% ABV and surely is a bit of a jolt like a morning coffee can be. Maybe that’s how it got its name. But I think they named it Breakfast Stout because sometimes you wake up thinking about it. You drift back to the last time you had some. The dark molasses beer stirring in your glass a bit, the deep burnt caramel head dancing at the top leaving a rusty film on the glass as you drain it. It doesn’t remind you of any other stout you’ve had. It’s too rich and powerful to be a memory of an oatmeal stout. It’s hoppier than you expected it to be, biting back at you. The chocolate doesn’t hit you at first, masked by all that coffee. The more you drink the sweeter it tastes and you begin to sense the chocolate. It leaves a remarkably smooth, deep, dark and rich flavor on your lips.
Sometimes you gulp it like a rushed morning coffee. Normally you wouldn’t do such a thing with a craft beer but with Breakfast Stout you can’t always help it. You can taste the higher alcohol content when you do, almost like a coffee wine. Somehow it doesn’t ruin the experience. There is almost wildness to the sweet. It reminds you of a molasses; almost a gamey sugar. You can taste it as you lay there in bed. And while you fight the fact you have to go to the bathroom you look at the alarm clock and wonder,
"How early can I have some Breakfast Stout without being a social pariah?"
If it were a holiday it might be acceptable, even now, to have some. Still refusing to kick off the covers (it's cold out there) you pick your brain for a holiday from any religion or country that could possibly be this day. You got nothin’. You twist in the sheets battling facts and social norms,
"Fine. I’ll just make up a holiday. Support Michigan Made Products Day. Yeah that’s it. How can you appreciate it if you have to wait until afternoon to have some?"
You smile. Now you can get out of bed and start your day, knowing you’ve won.
But you never do drink that morning stout. I’ve been saying for some time that one day I will get up and have Breakfast Stout for breakfast. A double chocolate, coffee and oatmeal breakfast sounds good to me and that’s just the beer. I’ll pair it with some good food and it will be fantastic. With 60 IBU’s (International Bittering Units) I’m thinking either something sweet or something greasy like steak and eggs. I have yet to do so, (when I finally do this I will tell you every last drop of detail) but every now and then I find myself wakeful with the thought of my last Breakfast Stout experience dancing in my head. I haven’t found another stout that has been nearly as memorable. Most times I find myself thinking about it when trying other stouts. So far it is my favorite. The only criticism I have is that the Breakfast Stout is available September – January only and not all year round. So go find some while you can and prepare for a summer of dreaming about it.