For breakfast cereal fans, fall means the return of Monsters cereals from General Mills. Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry make their chocolate, strawberry, and blueberry appearance on grocery store shelves. The seasonal boxes come and go. Once sold out, you have to wait until next year. But if you're a Count Chocula fan in particular, take heart because your fave flavor isn't limited to the cereal aisle. Count Chocula beer is a real thing now, and you can find it in select stores. For the last few years, Black Bottle Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, has offered a seasonal Count Chocula beer in the form of a milk stout that’s flavored with the chocolatey cereal. At the end of a day, when night falls ever more quickly, there's nothing like relaxing with a good glass of breakfast.
Black Bottle makes the drink by dropping nylon bags filled with the cereal into the brew tanks. The base is a milk stout, a hundred-year-old variation in which sweet lactose, or milk sugar, is added to stout.
Black Bottle first made its Count Chocula beer in 2014 when the brewery made the news by buying up all the boxes of the cereal in town. The next year, General Mills sent a supply of Count Chocula so Fort Collins could have its cereal and beer it, too.
Count Chocula isn't the only cereal brew that Black Bottle makes. The company makes a series of cereal beers it calls Cerealiously. The line has at times included Cinnamon Toast Crunch and, earlier this year, Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch.
Black Bottle wasn't the first brewery to combine beer and Count Chocula. In 2011, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery had a version. And others have made malt beverages with cereal. Fulton Brewery in Minneapolis combined Hefeweizen, a southern German wheat beer, with—appropriately—Wheaties. Big Time Brewing Company in Seattle has added Rice Krispies, Cocoa Puffs, and Corn Flakes with cocoa nibs and coffee beans to Breakfast Cereal Killer Stout. Brew Rebellion of Yucaipa, California, has an Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cereal Milk Stout. Noble Rey Brewing in Dallas will add Reese’s Puffs or Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but you have to go to their tap room to have a taste.
You may have to search for these beers, but if you can score a bottle, breakfast can be as close and quick as popping the cap. But forget a glass. Just bring a bowl and spoon.