Craft beer has seen some pretty interesting—if not outright peculiar—trends over the past few years, am I right? Creativity abounds in this industry, and while not every new idea blows up into a full-on trend (some just blow up), you have to give the brewers points for imagination. One of my favorite emerging beer styles combines two key times of the day: breakfast and BEER:30.
Who doesn’t remember waking up on Saturday mornings, parking a big pillow in front of the tube, and settling in for a round of Saturday morning cartoons? And if you’re anything like my brother and me, we had one Saturday morning staple: an overflowing bowl of cereal with milk sloshing over the sides (sorry, Mom!)—perfect for hopping us up on sugar before the Saturday chore list was handed out.
I think it’s only natural that the craft-brew industry harkens back to those mornings in front of the big box TV, bringing back some memories of yore. Now that we are a few years (ahem) older, we’ve moved on to more adult varieties of consumable liquids, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a nice helping of cereal now and then, especially if it’s of the fermented variety. Cereal beers are a cheeky take on these memories, and here I showcase some brewers who make them.
Black Bottle Brewery (Fort Collins, Colorado)
When everybody’s favorite Halloween cereal, Count Chocula, started disappearing off store shelves around town, Black Bottle Brewery emerged as the culprit. They’d bought out stores’ inventories to create Cerealiously Count Chocula, a milk stout, and used it like a dry hop. They followed up their Cerealiously series with Cerealiously French Toast Crunch and plan to brew up some more cereal/beer combinations in the future.
Fulton (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
What do you get when you cross Hefeweizen and Wheaties? HefeWheaties, my friends. While the beer isn’t brewed with actual Wheaties, the brewers pulled some of the same raw ingredients in Wheaties into the mix. Fulton and General Mills are both Minneapolis-based companies, so it was only natural that the two companies teamed up for this collaboration.
Noble Rey Brewing (Dallas, Texas)
Noble Rey starts with two of its house beers (Baracus American Brown Ale and Golden Rey Bavarian Wit), then adds cereal to small batches. The type of cereal is rotated randomly throughout the year, and the beers are only available in its not-so-top-secret taproom. For Baracus Gets Super Cereal, they’ve incorporated Reese’s Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, among other breakfast treats, and Golden Rey Cereal Killa’ is dry hopped with Fruity Pebbles.
Big Time Brewing Company (Seattle, Washington)
Breakfast cereal (including Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, and Cocoa Puffs) added to the mash plus chocolate cocoa nibs and coffee beans set Breakfast Cereal Killer Stout apart as another breakfast of champions. Clocking in at a whopping 9 percent ABV, it’s probably not the best one for first thing in the morning—you won’t make it to your lunch break!—but to wind down after a long day at the office, this stout has got you covered.
Brew Rebellion (Yucaipa, California)
Brew Rebellion rotates several cereal brews throughout the year, giving cereal lovers a nice variety of brews. For something with some sweetness and spice, try the Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cereal Milk Stout. Looking for something more indulgent? Try the Chocolatey Cereal Milk Stout.
Have any cereal beers you’d recommend or that you’ve brewed? We’d love to hear about them!
Learn the ins and outs of adding flavors to your beer. From coffee and spices to chiles and fruit, CB&B’s online class Adding Flavors to Beer shows you how to complement malt and hops with flavors that flagrantly violate the Reinheitsgebot. Sign up today!