If a beer is made with cereal, how should it be categorized—as "beereal"? Should it be consumed from a pint glass or from a bowl with a spoon? Are footed pajamas and classic episodes of ThunderCats recommended pairings?
Massachusetts’s Somerville Brewing Company didn’t seem worried about addressing these questions when it released Saturday Morning, its new Belgian-style ale that’s made using Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries. "Life is short. Have fun and try crazy things," the brewery announced in a Facebook post.
Somerville, which produces the Slumbrew line of beers, created Saturday Morning as a tribute to a local homebrewer and photographer who once concocted a similar beer with the popular cereal. Plus, adds brewery co-owner Caitlin Jewell, "We always have Cartoon Network playing in the tasting room."
Saturday Morning isn't the first beer to be made with cereal. Colorado’s Black Bottle Brewery has an entire Cerealiously series, with rotating iterations of a milk stout showcasing brands like Count Chocula, Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. (All cereals are introduced to the milk stout during secondary fermentation.) Additionally, Big Time Brewing, in Seattle, produces a Breakfast Cereal Killer Stout, with Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and Cocoa Puffs added to the mash. But Somerville has created one of the first-ever beers made from Cap’n Crunch.
The base of Saturday Morning is tripel, a type of Belgian golden ale. "Cap'n Crunch is made with oat, wheat and corn, and, like most breakfast cereals, it’s a showcase for sugar," Jewell’s husband and Somerville’s co-owner and brewmaster, Jeff Leiter, explains. "We felt the malt sweetness of a tripel would provide an ideal canvas."
Exactly how many boxes of Crunch Berries were used to develop the recipe is being kept secret, but Jewell does reveal that adjuncts, such as the cereal and flaked corn, comprise about 10 percent of the grain bill. The flaked corn, she says, adds an "enhanced smoothness to the body" and further emphasizes "the cereal-like flavor." As for the tasting notes, Leiter says, "You still get traditional Belgian-beer aromas like bubble gum, stone fruit and spice. On the finish, that's where you get a light, fruity note from the cereal."
Somerville has embraced a sales strategy that’s become increasingly popular with breweries across the country these days: Saturday Morning was released almost exclusively on-site, on tap and in 16-ounce cans. And while interested parties didn’t have to clip box tops to acquire it at the release party—held, rather fittingly, on the last Saturday morning of March, complete with cartoons and complementary Crunch Berries—for now, at least, it's expected to be a one-time offering. Cans are still available at the brewery, and select local retailers will get some of the goods this week.
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