Philly Beer Week 2014 is upon us and although I don’t typically plan to take full advantage of it each year, I do keep my eye out for an event or 2 to check out. Yesterday I found and caught my white whale despite thinking the ship had sailed long ago so to speak. In an age of hops, hops and more hops, I buck the trend and consider myself a stout man. Well yesterday, Capone’s Restaurant had a Bourbon Barrel Aged event. I saw the tweet midweek… Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout.
I didn’t even know it was possible anymore. I only had my sights on Kentucky Breakfast Stout and was going to make a point to grab it this week but Canadian Breakfast Stout? C’mon now, that has to be too good to be true. Founders stopped making it years ago. I’ve heard, at one point, bottles on the Internet were going for triple figures. I started thinking maybe Capone’s was going to be having just another bottle raffle for CBS like they had a few years ago but there’s no way they’re actually having it on tap. And I thought the event was going to be so packed I wouldn’t get near it anyway even if it was.
I figured I’d get there at 9:45AM for a 10AM tapping and if I didn’t get the Canadian Breakfast Stout, hey, at least I’d get the consolation prize of Kentucky Breakfast Stout since they were pouring that too. I really couldn’t lose, so last week flew by. So I pulled up at 9:45 and the line was already around the building… uh oh. People came behind me within seconds and they counted… 60 people in front of me. We were good. We were getting CBS today! I got a golden, or pink, ticket and I was set. On a side note, I’m pretty sure you could have shown up around 10:15AM and possibly still sniffed the last of the CBS but you definitely wouldn’t have had a place to sit down.
We got in and they traded you a 5.5oz pour of CBS for your ticket as you walked through the door. I proceeded to my seat. Every taste got better and better. I believe this was a 2010 batch but I’m not positive. Everything I read beforehand was true though. It may have aged a little too long and all of the coffee was gone however the maple really, really took over. It was sweet though but not too sweet. And smooth? It was oh so smooth. The alcohol was gone. It was really unbelievable. I tend to prefer beers under 7% abv. This was 9-10% but it was amazing.
The only unfortunate thing about drinking the CBS, aside from never being able to drink it again, was I drank a supposedly really good Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin next and it wasn’t even in the same league as the CBS and then I followed that up with a Kentucky Breakfast Stout and it was better than the Merkin but, in my opinion, not nearly as good as the smooth, smooth Canadian Breakfast Stout. On Saturday I woke up with 239 Untappd uniques and I finished the day with 242 uniques and one of them was a Canadian Breakfast Stout. I’m still kind of shocked.
Next year I could make the trip to Santa Rosa for some Pliny the Younger. One day I could decide to brave the insanity of Munster, Indiana for Dark Lord Day. But for now, CBS is only going to get rarer and rarer. I’m sure someday Founders will remake a batch of CBS. The demand will just be too strong not to. Someday. Until then though, my quest is to find a new stout that can hold a candle to Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. Challenge accepted.