Are you ready for a Dunkin’ Jelly Donut-infused hazy IPA?

By Mike Pomranz
August 25, 2020
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At this point, an endless parade of brands is dabbling in craft beer collaborations: bands like The Flaming Lips, clothing lines like L.L. Bean, and even the mustard maker French’s. But few companies have been as aggressive in their beer collab-ing ways as Dunkin’. After some early experiments in 2017 (a pumpkin brown ale with Catawba Brewing and a coffee stout with Wormtown Brewery), the donut and coffee chain found a lasting (and larger) partner in 2018 with the Massachusetts-based Harpoon Brewing. That year, the two brands released their Dunkin’ Coffee Porter. Then, in 2019, Harpoon Dunkin Summer Coffee Pale Ale hit shelves.

Now, for the 2020 fall season, Harpoon and Dunkin’ are releasing a full lineup of four beers—including three new brews, two of which are billed as the first beers to ever be made with actual Dunkin’ donuts. And tapping into craft beer’s biggest trend, one of those is even a donut-infused hazy IPA!

Arriving this September, Harpoon and Dunkin’ are bringing back their popular Coffee Porter for the third consecutive year—and it arrives alongside a trio of new creations: Harpoon Dunkin’ Pumpkin, Harpoon Dunkin’ Boston Kreme, and Harpoon Dunkin’ Jelly Donut. The first of the three is described as a “Spiced Latte Ale” inspired by the seasonal espresso drink. The “light in color and easy-drinking” 5.2 percent ABV ale is “brewed with real pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and a splash of coffee” to create “a perfect blend of all the autumn flavors we love, with just a touch of espresso-like roast.”

However, the latter two beers will grab the most attention. Harpoon Dunkin’ Boston Kreme is billed as a 4.3 percent ABV “Boston Kreme Stout” that’s “brewed with real Dunkin’ donuts and cacao nibs, which add extra dough-like and chocolatey notes to an easy-drinking, creamy Dry Irish Stout.” And last but far from least, the 5.7 percent ABV Harpoon Dunkin’ Jelly Donut is—unexpectedly—a “slightly hazy IPA” made “with real Dunkin’ donuts and raspberry purée” as well as fruity Hull Melon and Citra hops to create “bright notes of jelly and citrus.” Could this be the hoppy donut beer of your dreams?

Admittedly, the literal “infusion” of donuts is mostly for fun. “It varies depending on the batch size, but the donuts only make up around 0.3 percent of the total mash (meaning all the malts and grains that create the base of the beer),” Harpoon Brand Manager Tim Kast told me. But let’s level with each other: Making donuts just to throw them into a beer is kind of a waste. Instead, it’s the thought that counts.

“After more than two years and three seasons of collaborating with the Dunkin’ team, our fans have come to expect a delicious fall beer from us, but we wanted to give them something extra special this year,” Dan Kenary, CEO and co-founder of Harpoon, stated. “Our brewers have always been master innovators, but brewing beer made with real donuts was a first even for them. It’s hard to pick a favorite of the four recipes—just like it’s hard to pick a favorite donut from Dunkin’—but we hope both our and Dunkin’s fans have a blast trying.”

Harpoon says the Dunkin’ Pumpkin will be sold on draft and in six-packs of bottles. Meanwhile, all four beers will be packed together as a part of a new Harpoon Dunkin’ Dozen mixed 12-pack featuring three cans of each release. As far as where to find them, the brewery explains they’ll be available in “all Harpoon markets throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast, as well as select markets in Central US.” More specifics can be found via Harpoon’s Beer Finder on its website.