Cereal-infused beer taps Gen Y nostalgia
Companies like Kellogg’s and Kith aren’t the only ones reimagining cereal for Millennials, a generation raised on the sugary stuff. Craft breweries across the U.S. are whipping up batches infused with childhood favorites like Count Chocula and Cap’n Crunch—a sweet spot in the otherwise slowing craft brew market.
With flavors that include “Scuba Steve” and “Mom, the Meatloaf,” Black Bottle Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado is no stranger to nostalgia. The company throws back even further with its Cerealiously brews, a series of seasonal beer infused with classics like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch. Its latest offering in the series is Count Chocula beer, a stout flavored with the beloved chocolatey cereal. Brewers make the drink by dropping nylon bags filled with the cereal into tanks filled with milk stout, a hundred-year-old variation of stout in which sweet lactose is added during brewing.
Since its inception in 2011, Massachusetts-based microbrewery Somerville Brewing Company has expanded distribution into six states and achieved annual production of over 2,000 barrels of beer, largely driven by its core brand, Slumbrew. This March, the husband-and-wife co-founders were inspired to add a new Belgian ale to the line that’s infused with Cap’n Crunch Berries cereal. The nine percent alcohol-by-volume brew is called “Saturday Morning,” fitting for a brewery that constantly airs the Cartoon Network in its Somerville taproom. Cap’n Crunch is added during the mash-in to achieve the flavor, and the brewers also add flaked corn to create smoothness and further emphasize the cereal-like overtones.
BREAKFAST CEREAL KILLER
Seattle-Based Big Time Brewery lives up to its name with its childhood-inspired concoction, the Big Time Breakfast Cereal Killer Stout. Available on draft or nitro, each batch of the barrel-aged imperial stout is brewed with 20 pounds of a variety of breakfast cereals—Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Cocoa Puffs—added to the mash, plus eight pounds of Theo Chocolate nibs and five pounds of Stumptown coffee. Despite its somewhat daunting ingredients, the drink is a hit with beer aficionados, earning high marks on RateBeer and Untappd.