Dogfish Head’s newest beer has an interesting ingredient: scrapple. If you’re not familiar (we definitely weren’t), scrapple is a Mid-Atlantic specialty made from pork trimmings, flour and spices, and it’s served by the slice. When asked about his decision to incorporate this meaty ingredient into a stout, Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione told Popular Mechanics that “It’s the go-to breakfast meat in the scrapple belt…so local pride. And it’s absolutely delicious.”
The scrapple used here was specially made just for Dogfish Head by RAPA Original Scrapple—it’s leaner than their usual recipe, and uses pork stock, snouts, hearts and liver. But this beer doesn’t stop with pork—it’s gone brunch-crazy with ingredients like cold press coffee, maple syrup, chicory, oats and applewood-smoked barley. The scrapple isn’t supposed to dominate the beer’s flavor but give the drink smoky and savory elements.
The coffee flavor actually takes center stage, along with notes of chocolate and “malty undertones,” according to their website. The Delaware-based brewery also recommends pairing it with hearty, Ron Swanson-approved breakfast foods—think any kind of morning-appropriate meat, and maybe home fries and eggs.
Breakfast Beer was initially released two years ago and quickly sold out. Calagione said that the initial limited quantity was due to the labor-intensive brew, but a new batch will be released on November 7. The beer will now have 7.4 percent ABV, dialed back from the original 10 percent, probably a good thing if this is really supposed to be a breakfast-time beer.
The idea of drinking beer at brunch isn’t new—a shandy is a great summer drink and plenty of beers use breakfast ingredients like coffee, oats or some kind of milk product. Even bacon-flavored beer is old news. Dogfish Head already had a breakfast beer—their Chicory Stout, developed 20 years ago.
Though we’re conflicted about the flavor of Breakfast Beer, one of the most appealing things about this brew is Sam Calagione’s personal touch. The maple syrup used comes from the trees at Northfield Mount Hermon High School where he met his wife, and the name “Beer for Breakfast” is a nod to his Calagione’s favorite band, The Replacements, who have a lyric that goes “all I want to do is drink beer for breakfast.” We’ll drink to that—maybe even for breakfast!
Photo courtesy of Dogfish Head