4/2/17 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Beer for Breakfast

7:50 AM

I like Sundays. Sundays (now that I no longer have to intern on Sundays) are when I embrace my drinking school Ohio University roots, throw caution to the wind, and drink when I want. Usually this manifests around 11 a.m. or noon after I return to my apartment after a long run. Today, though, if I run it'll be later on. I have something very important to drink right now, while it's still breakfast time.

That something important is Dogfish Head's Beer for Breakfast. The bottle at hand is my final bottle of the stuff--I've been saving it for a post just like this on a day just like today. If you don't want spoilers, you may as well skip to the next paragraph (or hit the jump if it's applicable). If you don't care about spoilers, allow me to indulge myself by saying at the top that I love this beer. It's a good thing (for my wallet) that it's released pretty sporadically.

Dogfish Head, Delaware's first brewpub, opened its doors in 1995. At the time, it also the nation's smallest craft brewery--churning out just 12 gallons of beer at a time. As news of the brewery spread Dogfish Head had to up their brewing game and undertook a few expansions, which culminated in 2002 when the brewery moved into a converted 100,000 square-foot cannery. Not only do they make beer out of this Milton, Delaware facility, they also dabble in spirits (which I've never had but, if the quality of their beers is any indicator, are most likely very good). For the fleshed out story of Dogfish Head's history, be sure to visit their "Company" page.

Beer for Breakfast seems to be a very occasionally released affair. It first came about in 2014 (in January), it came out this January, and it's not on the release calendar for this year. Which is a shame, really, because I'd like more opportunities to enjoy the stout. It's official page touts that this 7.4% ABV brew utilizes cold press coffee, maple syrup,  brown sugar, molasses, milk sugar, and a bevy of breakfasty, roasty malts to give it a breakfast kick. That kick comes out in both the nose (with coffee and smoke present, as well as more subtle hints of spice and maple) and the taste (which boasts coffee, bacon [!], and maple, among others flavors).

It may be because I have a bit of a stuffy nose at the moment (damn you, spring), but I'm mainly getting coffee and maple from the stout's bouquet. If I really delve into it, I find a little smokiness backed but a little more spice, but the coffee and the maple are really what are on show here. And I love it. Purrl thinks it's pretty good--she gave it five whiffs. Háma (not pictured), at six whiffs, give it his highest score ever.

Beer for Breakfast tastes like--surprise!--breakfast. It's smokey and sweet on the fore (think slightly well-done pancakes). But, as I progress through my swig, I get coffee; I get maple syrup; and, lastly, finally, I get bacon. No foolin'. This beer tastes like bacon. In fact, that's what the aftertaste is: bacon slathered in maple syrup. It's amazing and great and I can't believe (but I'm really excited) that Dogfish Head pulled this off. This speaks volumes to the brewery's ability to craft some of the best beers to be had.

This is a big, filling stout. Not thin and syrupy. Each swig feels like you're eating a spoonful of oatmeal, and, seeing as how this is a breakfasty beer, I mean that in the best way.

The stout reminds me of the first time Michelle and I went cabining, just the two of us. One morning I rose early to prepare a breakfast spread. I made biscuits and gravy and pulled out the leftover pancakes and bacon from the previous morning's meal. The bacon was well done, the pancakes (smothered in syrup) were sweet, the biscuits and gravy were bready and savory, and the coffee we had while eating provided us with a dark, roasty caffeine kick. Later on, we went outside and started a bonfire to roast hotdogs for lunch. Everything about that calm, cabiny morning feast is captured perfectly within the bottle of beer at my side.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Beer for Breakfast Stout is excellent. It captures a multitude of diverse flavors in a way that I would have never believed a single beer could. But, beyond that, it brings them all together for one astounding meal of a brew. It's getting a 10/10 from me. If you can still find some (I know the coffee shop in my neighborhood has some on tap), get it. While it's somewhat pricey (I think a sixer was around $14 when I nabbed mine), it is undoubtedly worth it.

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