Milton, Delaware — Back in 1994, when Sam Calagione was working on a business plan for a nontraditional brewery, one of the homebrew recipes he tested was a breakfast-themed stout. A few months later, Chicory Stout — brewed with organic Mexican coffee, licorice root and chicory — helped launch Dogfish on our off-centered path.
Now, 20 years later, the itch for a breakfast beer is there again, and we’re going big.
“It’s been wonderful to see dozens of breakfast-themed beers come to market since we first did ours,” says Sam. “I thought it would be a great time to flex our creative muscles and try to brew a beer that has the most diverse group of ingredients referencing the meal and its name. It’s sort of an ‘everything-but-the-breakfast-nook’ stout.”
The nods to breakfast run deep:
- Maple syrup harvested from the trees at Northfield Mount Hermon, the high school in western Massachusetts where Sam met his wife, Mariah.
- Barley smoked over applewood from Delaware’s Fifer Orchards, for that applewood, bacon-y aroma.
- Lactose, or milk sugar.
- For the quintessential Delaware touch, 25 pounds of a super-lean version of Rapa Scrapple’s famous recipe. Rapa, the world’s largest producer of scrapple, was started by brothers Ralph and Paul Adams in Bridgeville, Del., just down the road from Dogfish.
If you’re not from the mid-Atlantic, you might be scratching your head right about now and thinking, “What the heck is scrapple?” Well, scrapple is a patty made of pork scraps, cornmeal and spices, kind of like a cross between bacon and a sausage patty. In other words, it’s awesome.
(If you’re not from the mid-Atlantic, you might be scratching your head right about now and thinking, “What the heck is scrapple?” Well, scrapple is a patty made of pork scraps, cornmeal and spices, kind of like a cross between bacon, a sausage patty and a corn muffin. In other words, it’s incredible.)
- Last but not least, a special blend from The Bean Factory in St. Paul, Minn. The coffee, added cold press post-fermentation, is a nod to one of Sam’s all-time favorite bands, The Replacements, who hail from Minnesota and were a fixture on Sam’s radio every morning back in 1995 as he mashed in. The beer is also named for The Replacements anthem “Beer for Breakfast.”
Beer for Breakfast, a draft-only beer served exclusively at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Del., will debut Dec. 5 at a special Happy Hour. Join Sam and friends from Rapa Scrapple from 5 to 7 p.m. at the pub to get the first taste of Beer for Breakfast and try a lineup of breakfast-inspired food specials from the kitchen featuring — you guessed it — Rapa Scrapple. We’ll be serving scrapple pizza and scrapple eggrolls, among other tasty treats.
“Working with Sam and the brewers at Dogfish Head was an interesting experience,” says Rapa’s Donna Seefriend. “Sam’s vision of translating the distinctive taste of Rapa scrapple into a beer was a unique proposition. Both Dogfish Head and Rapa’s production team brainstormed more than a few ideas, and it was decided that a super-lean version of our original recipe would balance nicely with the other ingredients. The end result is a remarkable beer that manages to bring together all the flavors of the quintessential American breakfast.”
Profits from Happy Hour pint sales of Beer for Breakfast will go to Songs for Slim, a nonprofit project raising money for Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a massive right brain stroke in February 2012.