The once-fictional brew will be available in real life this spring.
In the television show Breaking Bad, Walter White’s brother-in-law Hank Schrader went all out to make his homebrew — named Schraderbräu — look like the real thing, including putting official-looking Schraderbräu labels on the bottles. Now, that real-looking fake beer produced by a fictional character in a fictional show is officially being turned into a real beer in the real world by the actor who played that aspiring fictional homebrewer. Or to put it more simply: Actor Dean Norris says we’ll be able to drink Schraderbräu Beer this spring.
News that a real-life Schraderbräu was set to arrive all but broke last month thanks to a number of not-so-subtle hints — including Norris, who played Hank Schrader in the show, tweeting teaser videos about the project, and Sony Pictures Television trademarking the name. But on Friday, Norris and crew announced that, yes, Schraderbräu is 100-percent officially on its way. Norris has set up a company called Rust Belt Brewing that has signed a licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Consumer Products to brew a Schraderbräu German-style lager at the facilities of Figueroa Mountain Brewing in Buellton, California — a brewery that already specializes in producing German-style lagers.
Though this marks the first time Norris will have brewed a beer for retail, like many good actors, he said his role on Breaking Bad inspired him to get into character. “I took an interest in home brewing years ago when I learned it was going to be Hank's hobby in the show,” he told me via email. “I love craft beer and have extensive experience tasting and consuming beer! We really enjoyed working with Figueroa Mountain during the R&D process to create Schraderbräu... it truly is silky perfection!”
But though Breaking Bad inspired him to homebrew, how did it inspire the beer? “The show gave us some great hints as to what Schraderbräu should actually be,” Norris continued. “Obviously the name lends itself to a German lager, and we wanted the ABV and flavor profile to reflect Hank's persona on the show. There will be some fun, hidden items, all over the bottle that even the most diehard Breaking Bad fans may not be able to find. In our minds, this is the exact beer Hank brewed on the show, without the caps popping off, of course!”
Despite the fact that the brew is now official, other details are still in the works. The brand says that the beer (and merchandise) will be available spring 2019 — but where (just local or nationwide?) and in what form (bottles and draft?) “will be announced at a later date.”
However, Norris says this is hopefully just the beginning. “Right now we are focused on releasing the original Schraderbräu for craft beer and Breaking Bad enthusiasts to enjoy,” he added. “Down the road we have plans for an Oktoberfest, Winter Beer, commemorative gift sets, and possibly even a ‘cerveza’ just in time for next May.”