Founders Brewing Co.’s “Breakfast Stout”

December 3, 2013

“It’s a meal in a glass!” boasts their new ad in Beer Advocate Magazine. Chocolate, oatmeal and coffee certainly make for a rich, robust stout as long as they’re incorporated correctly. In the case of Founders Breakfast Stout, it lives up to its own hype.

One of the most anticipated releases each year, Breakfast Stout is one of those rare beers that seem to know no enemies. Very few beers can boast a perfect 100-point average score by both the site founders and members of beeradvocate.com – the go-to online resource for beer and progenitor of the previously-mentioned magazine.

There’s a bolder version – Bourbon barrel-aged – that’s even rarer and more highly-anticipated called Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Good luck finding any; it’s released once a year only at the brewery in Michigan. People stake out their place in line like it’s a Star Wars premiere or I-Phone release… except better. Well, better than Episodes I-III, at least. We’re pulling for you, JJ Abrams!

One thing used to bother me about coffee in beer, namely that I couldn’t drink any. I have a fairly non-serious heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome that caffeine tends to aggravate.
No brewer worth their mash tun would use some wimpy Folger’s Crystals in their brew. They’re punching in the hard stuff, the hair-on-your-chest, sit up and bark, nervous-squirrel-wired java just loaded with caffeine. For years, I stayed away in fear of blowing my heart out like the sides of an old white wall tire.

Fear not, fellow non-caffeine brethren. In recent years the Food & Drug Administration ruled that only decaf coffee could be used in brewing. All the flavor with none of the jitters! I can’t tell you how much I’ve given up since ’98 that I miss. Finding out coffee-laced beer won’t make it feel like Gene Krupa is doing a drum solo in my chest was like finding out the cute girl down the street really did like me all those years when I thought she was out of my league.

So why is Breakfast Stout so highly-regarded? It delivers exactly what it says it will but amplified by an order of magnitude. As black as a well digger’s tuchus on a moonless night, Breakfast Stout sports a hot chocolate-color head that leaves behind lots of lacing. Quit trying to coax anything out of this one but what it advertises, because it ain’t gonna happen. Big doesn’t do the coffee, sweet grain and chocolate justice. Colossal. Brobdingnagian, even, for all you literary folks. Amps turned to 11, the mélange of espresso, cream, dark chocolate and oatmeal exhibits balance while exciting all your tactile senses to the highest degree. Making it even more dangerous is the ultra-soft texture and high abv, like liquid mousse spiked with booze.

Yes, it’s that good. Better head by Hopjacks Filling Station for some soon!