Harpoon Brewery and Dunkin’ (DNKN) have decided to spice up their annual seasonal beer collaboration, and it’s a pairing right up Homer Simpson’s alley: doughnut-infused beer.
The Boston bosom buddies, which have teamed up the past two fall seasons on a Harpoon Dunkin’ Coffee Porter, are expanding the breadth of their seasonal brews with a pumpkin spiced latte ale as well as two beers made with doughnuts. Yes, you read that right. Doughnuts.
Come September, some kegs, bottles and cans of Harpoon Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spiced Latte Ale, Coffee Porter, Boston Kreme Stout and Jelly Donut IPA are slated to be available up and down the East Coast.
The idea came up during the course of meetings to discuss Harpoon’s partnership with Dunkin’. “You get some creative brewers together, maybe over a couple of beers, and sure enough the conversation turns to ‘How could we make some beer with doughnuts?’” Dan Kenary, Harpoon’s chief executive officer and co-founder, told CNN Business.
Doughnut-infused brews are not new to the craft beer world, but this is the first such move by Harpoon and Dunkin’.
Although experimentation included trials of cruller-filled beer and honey-dipped doughnut ales, Harpoon’s brewers quickly zeroed in on two prime candidates: a hazy India Pale Ale with a mix of fruit-forward hops, raspberry puree and Dunkin’ jelly doughnuts; and a doughy Dry Irish Stout made with cacao nibs and Dunkin’ Boston Kreme doughnuts.
To make the brews, Harpoon dropped a few doughnuts into the mash – treating them like a specialty grain or malt.
For non-doughnut beers, Harpoon kept the original recipe for the Coffee Porter and created the Pumpkin by brewing real pumpkin with a splash of coffee and pumpkin pie spices.
“It tastes like fall,” Kenary said. “And it gives a little bit of sophistication to the pumpkin with the coffee flavors.”
The multi-year partnership with Harpoon helps to put Dunkin’ in a different light – and in different aisles of the store, said Brian Gilbert, the coffee and doughnut company’s vice president of retail business development.
“It keeps the brand in the forefront of people’s minds,” he told CNN Business.