Some chain restaurants are begging for their own beer. Sure, Dunkin’ coffee makes a sensible addition to a coffee porter, but how often are you drinking beer while eating Dunkin’? Taco Bell on the other hand… How often are you eating Taco Bell after wrapping up a night out? Now, in that latter category, one of the chains most synonymous with post-partying antics has finally collaborated on its own official beer: Waffle House. And, oh yeah, it smells like bacon.
Only two short years ago, news broke that a Waffle House location became the first-ever to serve beer. Now, the Georgia-based chain has collaborated on a beer in its honor thanks to Oconee Brewing Company, located in Greensboro, Georgia just over an hour east of Waffle House headquarters. Adding to the fun, Waffle House Bacon & Kegs—a 6.5 percent ABV red ale—is more than just a catchy name.
“The beloved scent of bacon stands out from the typical medium hop aroma of a red ale,” the brewery explains. “The malty sweetness of the base beer blends perfectly with the salty, savory, and smoky bacon extract to create a delicious and unique beer. Bacon & Kegs pairs well with breakfast food items (obviously!) or can be enjoyed as a stand-alone, soon to be iconic beer.”
To hammer the theme home (as if there were any doubts), the packaging displays the beer’s name in the style of the iconic Waffle House sign—alongside an additional illustration of a Waffle House restaurant to boot—all designed by a local Georgia agency, Brock Company Creative.
Oconee explained that, despite Waffle House’s size, the corporate staff at the chain is actually very tight-knit and was surprisingly receptive to working with the small-town brewery that only opened in 2017. “This story began in January with someone with Waffle House being kind enough to respond to an email that I sent proposing a collaboration,” Leslie Tillery, Oconee’s media director, told me. “That initiated communication with some of the executive team at the Atlanta corporate office. After a COVID delay, our two groups held a taste test at Oconee Brewing Company and chose a bacon-infused red ale to release as the first ever Waffle House beer!”
For now, Bacon & Kegs will be available in six-packs of 12-ounce cans or on draft (including for to-go growlers) exclusively at the brewery in Greensboro starting Friday, December 18. Both the Oconee and Waffle House agreed that starting small was the way to go. However, the brewery says the collab will likely be more than a limited edition one-off, and larger distribution could follow. So yes, a future could exist where you end up at the Waffle House after a night of drinking Waffle House beer.