It started innocently enough with an email from our friends at Donno’s Higher Ground Tattoo (Bryson City, NC). “We can’t get this here, but we think you need to try it.” They also sent a link to Dogfish Head‘s Beer for Breakfast stout – made with scrapple.
For those of you not located in, or adjacent to, the great state of Pennsylvania, scrapple is a local delicacy made of cornmeal, spices, and pig parts formed into loaves, then pan fried into a hard, greasy patty. It’s an acquired taste, and definitely not for everybody.
However, Dogfish Head uses 25 pounds of it to brew their Beer For Breakfast Stout, a 7.4% milk stout that’s said to also feature maple syrup, spices and cold-pressed coffee.
The result is a black, opaque stout with mild carbonation. The big flavors in this are the coffee and LOTS of smoke. There is a lot of sweetness from the malt, and maybe the maple syrup, but I don’t get much maple taste. I also get an odd spice that I’m thinking is either sage or pepper from the scrapple.
Oddly, there’s a salty aftertaste that shows up about two seconds after you swallow it, and the finish isn’t great – I actually feel like the inside of my mouth has a fine coating of grease with a weird chemical aftertaste.
The coffee is good, but overpowering, and you’d likely never know this was made with scrapple – just that something doesn’t seem right.
So I’m not a fan, but I’ve talked to several other beer friends, and am wondering if I ended up with a bad batch because they can’t get enough of this stout. To me, it’s disgusting (I had to pour out the rest).
As we always say, everyone’s tastes are different, so give this one a try if you come across it. At the very least, it’s a great conversation starter that makes for a great story.
Nonetheless, we appreciate the suggestion from the folks at Donno’s (check them out for your tattoo & piercing needs), and definitely won’t hold this against them. In fact, we might have to save a bottle for you guys.