Bacon Beer: Jim’s Breakfast Brew

This is a guest post of Jim, the man who made the Bacon Beer we reviewed on Bacon LIVE. Jim is a former Executive Chef and restaurant manager who works now at the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY, running all of the retail food operations there. I ask Jim to explain to how and why he made the beer and this is what he sent me.

Jim Writes: I like to think of this as a “Breakfast Brew,” as it contains so many elements of a hearty breakfast. I used dark malt extract; caramel, crystal, and chocolate malts; and Northern Brewer and Cascade hops. Essentially, the base of the beer was a Guinness clone, and any Irish Stout homebrew kit would have a similar effect.

At the start of the boil, I added some oven-toasted, steel-cut oatmeal, brown sugar, Vermont maple syrup, and whole beans of Starbucks Komodo Dragon coffee. I baked a pound of thick-cut bacon until crispy, drained the fat into a Tupperware container (saved for later), and added the cooked bacon about 15 minutes from the end of my hour-long boil, the same time as I added the Northern Brewer finishing hops. That went into fermentation for a week.

I put a cup of vodka in the Tupperware with the bacon fat and stored that in the fridge for the week while the beer fermented, making a bacon extract to add a little extra bacon flavor to the batch right before I bottled. Also, for my bottling, I made a simple syrup with hickory Liquid Smoke, water, and sugar, and added a ¼ teaspoon to each bottle to carbonate it and give one last hit of smokiness. The beer bottle-conditioned/lagered for 3 weeks.

I find that this is best enjoyed room-temperature to slightly-chilled. If it’s served very cold, the bacon flavor fades away. The bacon flavor hits most if you let the beer sit on your tongue for a moment rather than drinking it down straight away. The coffee is strong in the front, the oatmeal subtle in the middle, and the bacon and smokiness follow through in the end. The maple syrup was somewhat lost in the process, but it’s in there!

Coffee, oatmeal, brown sugar, syrup, bacon and beer. There’s no better way to start your morning.

All of my equipment is bought at Hammersmith Homebrewing in Latham, NY, a family owned-and–operated store that can be found online at They have great prices and selection, and are very knowledgeable about the craft and eager to help others learn to make great beer and wine at home.

I currently have a high-gravity Banana Oatmeal beer bottle-conditioning, a Vanilla Clove mead fermenting, and as I write this, I’m making a BBQ Beef cream ale.

Glad you enjoy it! -Jim