If you happen to be in Fort Collins, Colorado, next weekend and get a hankering for a big bowl of Count Chocula (because Halloween, duh), but you can't find it at the grocery store, try Black Bottle Brewery. Wait, what?
Yeah, the micro-brewery and brew pub about an hour from Denver has a lock on the 'Choc this year thanks to brewmeister Sean Nook. He's kind of cornered the market on the marshmallow-licious dessert cereal to make this year's batch of his craft brewery's Halloween-themed Cerealiously beer.
Totally weird, but in a good way
"I'm kind of a weirdo and I decided we should do a milk stout and put cereal in it," Nook told MTV News. "We do different [cereal beers] all year long, like five to six times per year. I came up with this idea about a year ago after we did beers with Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Honey Bunches of Oats. We get criticized by beer purists and bloggers, but they've worked really well and killed it out of the gate."
Nook, 34, brewed about eight barrels of the Chocula stout, which is only available on tap at his brew pub. But as word has spread, he's gotten offers from Russia, England and distributors in almost every state in the country to buy some of his signature brew.
"I don't want to be a one-hit wonder and sell out," he said, adding that the Chocula is the fastest moving cereal beer he makes. In fact, while past breakfast beers have lasted a week or so, once the tap opens for this year's batch on October 30, he doesn't expect the 'Choc to make it past next next weekend.
One unsatisfied customer threw a serious fit
Not everyone is that psyched about his suds, though. When he bought every box of Chocula from the two local Albertson's grocery stores before they even hit shelves last week -- six cases in all, or about 40 pounds of Count goodness -- one loyal Albertson's shopper got pissed. In fact, she got so mad she complained to the manager of the store -- where Nook worked in high school -- and then posted a nasty message on the brewery's Facebook page.
"She went on Facebook and yelled at us, but we thought she was joking, so we messed with her," Nook said.
He eventually made peace with the Chocoholic and when cereal giant and Chocula makers General Mills caught wind of Nook's inventive product, they not only didn't sue, they sent him gift packs of all their monster cereals and made sure that the disgruntled shopper got a stash as well. Now, he said, General Mills wants to be in business with him for a special Christmas beer.
"I grew up not very rich with three sibling and the easiest thing to do was have cereal, which we ate for dinner sometimes," said Nook of his cereal jones. And the rock-loving brew boss clearly has a sense of humor, since his joint also offers such unusually named drafts as: Youth Brigade, Hopelessly Devoted, Bugger Off, Floozy, Joy Division, Liquid Metal, Dirty Hippy and our favorite, a 12.5% alcohol grapefuity IPA named after a legendary straight edge band: Just a Minor Threat.
"People say they're driving from California to get this [Chocula]," said Nook. "And my wife thought we were gonna get sued!"