Bacon Beer Becomes a Reality, But Don’t Get Too Excited

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Photo: Istockphoto

We just about lost it when we heard Brooklyn Brewery brew master Garrett Oliver was working on a beer made from Bentons Country Smokehouse bacon, and now its a reality. The catch is: Youll have to pay $350 for a taste of Reinschweinsgebot, as Oliver is calling it. The beer is part of a pairing dinner at Per Se on September 18 at 7 p.m. (the first of its kind there), which will also feature the Manhattan Project, a rye-based beer made with David Wondrich thats aged in Rittenhouse Rye barrels and flavored with herbs, spices, and cherry so as to echo the taste of a Manhattan. The Manhattan Project is going out to bars in New York and across 21 states this week (its currently on tap at Rattle & Hum), and Oliver is quite pleased with it: It tells me that we got it right that several bartenders Ive served it to smelled the beer and just burst out laughing. Since hes also pleased with the bacon beer, will it too become commercially available?

Unfortunately, the answer is nyet. Brooklyn Brewery made 21 cases of Reinschweinsgebot for special events, which isnt enough for even limited commercial distribution. And dont expect it to go wide anytime soon. Oliver tells us that the technique we used which comes originally out of the perfume industry involves transferring an aroma from a fat to a liquid without actually transferring the fat itself. Then to completely remove the fat and have none left in the liquid, it was very tricky. However, he says hes open to finding a way to simplify the process so that plebeians can one day enjoy bacon beer, too. Fingers crossed.

By the way, if you want a slightly cheaper opportunity to absorb Olivers wisdom, hell be teaching a $195 class about cooking with beer at the International Culinary Center on October 23. Get your tickets here.