They aren’t the first brewery to toss a donut into a beer as part of a collaboration, but Rivertown is most likely the only brewery to include an entire donut trail with their latest beer which is scheduled to hit your favorite shelves and draft lines on June 7th (You know that’s national Donut Day… right?)
Before we talk about what the beer is – we should talk about the Donut Trail a little bit… right?
The Butler County Donut Trail
Butler County doesn’t mess around… we love our donuts up here. So much so, in fact that we have a donut trail to help donut-geeks get out and try them all. A collection of 12 stops in Butler County, the Donut Trail ends with a T-shirt if you manage to hit them all.
The trail was started in 2016, and covers 80 miles – it’s no joke. I’ve read that in Butler County we’ve got one donut shop for every 17,000 residents, giving us one of the highest rates of donuts per capita in the Midwest. It’s no surprise that if something so insane (and insanely cool) could exist, it would exist right here… and that our brewery community would jump on board to help promote it.
Like I said earlier… there are lots of ‘donut beers’ but Rivertown took things to a whole other level with this one. They weren’t content in just brewing up a normal, every day donut beer and calling it a day – they wanted to team up with the entire donut trail.
Why? Here’s what Lindsey Roeper says about their motivation for the collaboration:
We are SOOOOOO excited to be partnering with the Donut Trail and the Butler County Visotirs Bureau on this incredible collaboration involving donuts from all 12 donut trail shops. We really love doing beers that have a lot of personality and what could have more personality than a beer that brings together so many local businesses and flavors!
The brewery invited representatives from every stop on the trail out to the brewery while they were brewing up this batch of beer, and donuts from each stop went right into the recipe. Born from a simple tweet from the brewery to the Butler County Visitors Bureau… this became something pretty freaking cool.
Coupled up with the local donuts, the brewery also chose to hit the beer with a bunch of other local ingredients too. Hops were sourced from Barn Talk Hops in Wadsworth. They got Ohio grown and malted wheat and barley from Rustic Brew Farm in Marysville and then looked north to Michigan for 500 pounds of sugar from Pioneer Sugar. This beer is a beast at 11.1% ABV.
The base of SprinkALE is an Imperial White Ale, which seems to pair up perfectly with not just a donut beer, but a cellarable, summery, celebratory beer. In Jason’s words:
We chose to do an Imperial White Ale as the base because we have to think of the season this beer is coming out in. National Donut Day is June 7th and what kind of beer and donut would I most prefer during that time of year? I think of wheats, weizens, Belgians and for a donut, I immediately thought sprinkles, sugary, light and iconic which led me to the Imperial White Ale base. Imperial because this is a beer to celebrate with, we know that people will covet & trade this beer or perhaps hold it in their cellar and we wanted to provide a beer that could stand up to the test of time. Going back to the ingredients, we looked at the foundation of what we’re making, an Imperial White Ale with sprinkle donuts. A White Ale uses ground coriander and orange peel, which lends itself well to the lightness of the sprinkle donut. This style of beer also uses a unique yeast that provides a pronounced flavor in the way that yeast provides delicious flavors in donuts.
No beer would be complete or full of it’s final personality without some really great artwork to go along with it, and this one came to life thanks to the talent of Tommy Sheehan from TOMMYINK. It really brings it all together into the perfect package… bright, sprinkly and summery even before you crack the can open.
Keep your eyes open early June as this starts to show up! If you’re looking for more information be sure to hit up Facebook and share it with all your donut loving friends!