As we’ve discussed before on the Republic of Bacon, beer and bacon is a natural pairing. The slightly bitter hops in the beer brings out bacon’s natural sweetness. While both have rich flavour profiles, bacon and beer both contrast and complement each other extremely well. Bacon and beer are often mixed together when creating delicious dishes – beer-battered onion rings, for instance, or a beer and bacon jam. Whether mixed together on a dish, or whether your bacon-centric meal is simply accompanied by a delicious micro-brew, bacon and beer go beautifully together.
So, of course, it was only a matter of time before some brilliant innovators decided that bacon and beer decided to get even closer together. While some of the beers have been deliberately flavoured to taste like bacon, other come by their smoky meatiness all on their own, through some kind of beer-and-bacon sorcery. No matter how the bacon flavour got in there, since everything tastes better with bacon, these are all sure to be a hit on a sunny afternoon on the patio.
First, there is Voodoo Donut Maple Bacon Ale. This comes courtesy of Rogue, a brewing company based in Oregon. The brew is made from several smoked malts, including cherry wood and hickory, which further enhance the smokiness of the beverage. It also includes real applewood smoked bacon and maple extract. If you’ve even wanted to drink a bacon and maple donut, here is your chance. And good news for our Canadian readers: it looks like this concoction will be stocked by the LCBO this summer!
If you really want to splurge, then you could always try and track down some “Reinschweinsgebot,” the super exclusive beer developed by Brooklyn Brewery’s master Garret Oliver. Only 21 cases of the beer were made form special events, and they’re usually reserved for exclusive tasting menus. The bacon taste comes from the addition of local Benton’s County Smokehouse bacon. Anyone else’s mouth watering?
Naturally Smoked Beers
Then, there is the family of beers known as Rauchbier. These delicious beverages, originating in Bambery, Germany, are often said to have a distinctly bacony flavour. This is not an additive but rather a byproduct of the way the beer is made: the malted barley used to make the beer is tried over an open flame, giving it a distinct smoky flavour that reminds us strongly of bacon. The flavours tend to be mind and extremely pleasant, making Rauchbier an excellent choice for a classy barbecue.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on bacon and beer. Have you tried one of the bacon beers on this list, or another bacony-beery beverage? Did you think the beer was the most delicious thing on the planet or a strange experiment gone awry? We would love to hear from you!