Founders Breakfast Stout

30 October 2015 by , 1 Comment

I’ll never forget the first time I had this beer many years ago. Washington, DC in what is now the Bier Baron. I stopped by on a work trip and there it was, on tap. I’ve been in love ever since. Before Founders came in to Tennessee, Don and I sought this beer out anytime we traveled outside of the state. When we were able to buy it for the first time this past year in Knoxville, I bought a case. I rarely buy a case of anything but I bought a case of this.

Breakfast Stout is a Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Stout. According to their press release: Breakfast Stout combines Nugget and Willamette hops, Gibraltar milk chocolate chunks, bittersweet Orinoco chocolate, and two types of coffee beans. Flaked oats and malt complete the blend. The result: an intense fresh-roasted java aroma with a creamy, cinnamon-colored head and rich coffee and chocolate flavors. What’s not to love?

TFounders_Breakfast_Stouthis beer pours dark with a frothy head that continues to lace the glass as we’ve been drinking it. On the nose we get coffee, a lot of coffee, which comes through on the tongue as well as a sweetness from the chocolate. This beer clocks in at 8.3% ABV and 60 IBUs.

We also got a chance to ask Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki a few questions about this particular beer:

Jeremy, what are you looking for in the beer when you tune this recipe? We have made some adjustments to the coffee additions over the years – this year we are returning to our original coffee vendor, for example.  It’s always about finding the highest quality ingredients at the best price, and because we use agricultural products, that’s something that we constantly have to monitor.

Can you tell me a little bit about the origin of this beer for Founders?  This was one of the first “specialty” brews we made here after I started.  It was based on one of our homebrew recipes and it was a hit right from the beginning.  It was also a real pain in the ass to make, with the extra steps of dealing with melting chocolate and steeping coffee.  But we didn’t mind, since we only made it like once a year, just for the taproom.  It created amazing aromas in the brewery, and getting to drink it was a nice reward for the hard work.  Of course, now we make quite a bit of volume of this beer, and it’s still a pain in the ass, but that’s the price you pay for creating something delicious and successful.  It’s definitely brewed the hard way.

This is one of the few beers that I will buy a case of in a given year. Some people like to age this beer but I find that the coffee notes are much less pronounced over time giving way to more chocolate overtones. Is this a beer that you keep on hand and if so, what are you looking for as the beer ages?  It is exactly as you say.  Fresh Breakfast Stout really bursts with coffee, which will mellow with time and allow the chocolate to become more prominent.  Everyone has their own preference, and I’ve found that this beer holds up pretty well overall with age, but personally I try to drink this and most beer as fresh as possible.

Final snobs: This is one of our favorite winter seasonal beers. While this beer certainly is awesome fresh, it also ages well, especially if you like the chocolate notes. HINT: for coffee lovers, drink right away. For chocolate lovers, age it a bit. OR buy a case and do both!