The Story Behind Dormancy

The Story Behind Dormancy

The idea behind Dormancy was simple: what if we "dry hop" with coffee?

Innocently enough, one winter a few years ago it occurred to us to give brewing a stout a shot. We were missing harvest and the tall, lush, green hops of the summer and figured a stout would get us through the winter. Plus, a new local roaster here in Yakima, Lincoln Ave Roasters, was just getting off the ground and we were stoked to partner with them to craft this coffee-forward stout. 

The idea was simple: why don’t we “dry hop” our stout with coffee, just like we do with hops and our IPAs. The result is what many of its fans have dubbed a cold brew beer. Strong coffee notes with nonexistent bitterness make it perfectly crushable, even for a stout; with no overpowering sweet, syrupy additions, just a crisp and clean finish, it’s exactly what we aim for in all of our brews. 

As the recipe evolved, we decided this stout was definitely in the breakfast stout category. With a malt base that mimics breakfast flavors like flaked oats, victory malt and chocolate malt, it’s like breakfast cereal. Plus, the amount of coffee we eventually narrowed down equates to about 1 lb of coffee per barrel of beer. This means that if you drink about 10 pints of Dormancy you’ll enjoy the caffeine buzz of about 1 cup of coffee! Cereal and coffee notes made this recipe a breakfast stout, no contest.

With the style and recipe nailed, it came time to name this beer. As with most things we do here at Bale Breaker, we decided to bring it back to the hop farm. Hops lie dormant in the winter, and in many ways, the brewery also lies dormant in the winter. It’s a stark contrast from the buzzing activity of summer and hop harvest here in the valley–just like a stout was the complete opposite of everything we’d been known for up unto that point. So Dormancy Breakfast Stout was born, and we’re prouder than ever of this beer that continues to gain a following.

This time last year we finally put this taproom favorite into cans, and it’s made its way into the year-round lineup as the only non-hoppy beer we package for wider distribution (for now, hint-hint!). Look for the new wrapped boxes housing our Dormancy 6-packs hitting shelves now. Cheers!

Tasting notes: Pronounced aroma and flavor intensity. Malt is dominant in both with roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate aromas and flavors. Secondary flavor and aromas may include dried fruits, toffee, molasses, raisin, vanilla, and smoke. Balanced sweetness and medium-full body with moderate bitterness. Some astringency permitted. 6.8% ABV / 50 IBU


Posted December 20, 2019

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