Barbarian Brewing Creates Breakfast Stout with Donuts and Coffee 

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Barbarian Brewing

Breakfast for dinner has been around at least as long as easy-pour boxed cereal, but it has grown in popularity in recent years, with fast food chains like McDonald's and Jack in the Box expanding their breakfast menus to all-day affairs. But what about breakfast for happy hour? James Long, head brewer for Barbarian Brewing, has a plan to make that happen in a very Boise way: by adding Guru Donuts maple bars and Form & Function espresso to his latest brew.

"I had the idea because a more popular style of beer that's been surfacing these days is breakfast stout," said Long, "and I thought it would be cool to do something with [Guru's] donuts because they're just a couple of doors down from our downtown spot. So I reached out to Angel [Moran, co-owner of Guru] and she was like, 'Yeah, I'll get you a bunch of maple bars.'"

After picking up the donuts from Moran in mid-April, Long added them to the Barbarian mash tun—a vessel used by brewers to mix grains with temperature-controlled water—to give the brew a hint of maple sweetness. To up the flavor even more, he threw in some maple syrup.

"We're going to age [it] in bourbon barrels for probably about six months, depending on how fast it picks up that character from the barrel," Long said, adding that he'd imported barrels from Kentucky for the project.

Four or five months into the process of aging the brew, Long will start on the next step: aging green coffee beans in bourbon barrels, which will be sent a month later to local coffee shop Form & Function for roasting and ultimately added to the maple-infused stout.

"It's different elements of breakfast all thrown into one beer," Long said.

This isn't the first time Barbarian has gone out on a conceptual limb with its suds, or even the first time Long has barrel-aged coffee beans. Right now, the brewery has a sour beer on tap called Toothstains made with blueberries and Ethiopian Harrar coffee beans aged in a Tempranillo barrel. Long brewed another, the Pisco Sour, with Sauvignon Blanc juice, grapefruit and lime, and it's served on nitro with a dash of bitters to give it the sour punch and creamy mouthfeel of the cocktail that inspired it.

The donut and coffee breakfast stout hasn't been christened yet, but Long says that despite the ingredients, he wouldn't recommend starting your day with a mug of it.

"Well, If you want to start that early..." he joked, adding, "It's going to be like a 9-percent beer, so pretty hefty, and it's not going to have that much caffeine in it. If [customers] want to do that, good for them, but I feel like it will be more of a dessert beer."

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