Just in time for the holiday season, Dunkin' Donuts has announced their latest special drink, a marriage of all things good and indulgent (ish): coffee and alcohol. Yep, get ready, because Dunkin' Donuts is releasing a coffee-inspired beer this Thursday. You'll be embodying both meanings of "buzzed" in no time.
In a Dec. 18 press release, the Boston-based Dunkin' Donuts introduced a new collaboration with Wormtown Brewery of Worcester, Mass. Dubbed "DDark Roasted Brew" (yes, I've been pronouncing it "duh-dark" in my head, too), the limited edition stout-style beer is the second alcoholic bevvie created by Dunkin' Donuts. The first, a collaboration with Catawba Brewery in North Carolina, was a pumpkin-spice-coffee beer that hit taps on National Coffee Day 2017 (Sept. 29). Only 60 kegs were made of the "Dunkin' Donuts Punkin'," which was served exclusively at Catawba's tap rooms in Charlotte, Morgantown and Asheville. For each pint sold, one dollar was donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.
"Craft coffee is at the core of our business," said Meaghan Duff, Field Marketing Manager of Dunkin' Donuts in North and South Carolina, in a September statement. "That's when we hatched an out-of-the-cup idea — combine craft coffee and craft beer — the perfect pair!"
The first keg of the DDark Roasted Brew will be tapped at precisely 11:28 A.M. on Thursday, Dec. 21. For those of you not in tune with, like, nature or whatever, Thursday marks the arrival of the Winter Solstice. It's the shortest day of the year and serves as the official start to the winter season.
For literally millennia, the Winter Solstice has been marked by festivals and celebrations, particularly in agriculturally-based communities. It absolutely makes sense: the December solstice marks the point in the year when the days finally begin to lengthen, bringing with them warmth, sun, the growing season and fresh food. Winter is tough enough now - imagine surviving without heat or electricity.
In fact, many of our current holiday traditions actually evolved from these pagan solstice parties, particularly the Ancient Roman celebration of Saturnalia. Participants, honoring the god of agriculture, Saturnalia, indulged in feasts and alcohol, exchanged gifts of fruit and carved figurines and greeted one another with "Io, Saturnalia," which is essentially the ancient equivalent to "Happy Holidays." The wealthy were also expected to provide financial aid to struggling individuals and families, often paying their rent for the month. They filled the darkest, shortest day of the year with the max amount of light and cheer.
And what better time than the darkest day of the year to indulge in a "creamy" dark stout with a "full body coffee flavor"? None time, that's when. Attendees of the ceremonial tapping, which is open to the public, will have the chance to pair the DDark Roasted Beer with a curated tasting menu, comprised primarily of donuts, like the Double Chocolate Cake Donut.
Donuts and beer? If you're questioning whether that's a coupling that works, check this tidbit from Dunkin' Donuts' press release: "The smooth body of the beer complements the creaminess of the chocolate icing, finishing with notes of Dark Roast Coffee, malt and chocolate cake," reads the statement. Hi, that sounds amazing, New Englanders are so heckin' lucky.
As was true with the collaboration with Catawba Brewery, the DDark Roasted Brew will be super limited edition and sold exclusively at Wormtown Brewery's Tap Room. In addition, Wormtown and Dunkin' Donuts Boston will be teaming together to donate $11,500 to the Worcester Food Bank.
“The fact that we’re able to give back to Worcester-area families through this partnership just makes it that much better,” Scott Drake, Wormtown’s head brewer, said in a statement.