For most of the past year, Dunkin’ Donuts has been attempting to rebrand itself as more of a specialty beverage and coffee company instead of a basic coffee and donut shop. In fact, the company even announced that it was dropping the word donuts from its name altogether and would soon go by the slightly hipper name of plain Dunkin’. Further evidence of the company’s rebranding efforts can also be seen in the recent announcement that Dunkin’ is releasing its own special beer for the winter solstice. Yes, that’s right. Dunkin’ Donuts is now getting into the craft beer game.
Unfortunately, it won’t be easy for the average Dunkin’ Donuts fan to taste this special coffee-infused concoction, that is, unless you happen to live near Worcester, Massachusetts. Dunkin’ partnered with Massachusetts’ Wormtown Brewery to create its special DDark Winter Brew, and the beer will only be available for a limited time at the Wormwood Brewery Taproom.
Nonetheless, if you do happen to live in the area, you might want to consider heading over to the brewery on December 21st. As the beer is meant to commemorate the winter solstice, it will be unveiled at exactly 11:28am on the 21st.
This special solstice beer is made with Dunkin’s Dark Roast Coffee, and is the first beer to be made using the company’s coffee. Apparently, the beer is supposed to have a strong taste of full-roasted coffee similar to that of freshly ground coffee beans. It is also described as having a ‘creamy mouthfeel,’ but those who are lucky enough to try it will have to determine that one on their own.
While DDark Winter Brew might be the first beer to be made using Dunkin’s Dark Roast Coffee, it is not the company’s first foray into the craft beer market. During the autumn of 2016, Dunkin’ Donuts partnered with a small craft brewery in North Carolina to create Dunkin’ Punkin Brown Ale—a pumpkin flavored beer that was the first beer in the world to be made using original Dunkin’ Donuts ingredients and flavorings. This particular beer was created to commemorate National Coffee Day on September 26 and was again only available in a small batch directly from the brewer.
The fact that Dunkin’s new DDark Winter Brew marks the company’s second beer collaboration seems to indicate that it is serious about rebranding itself and branching out into new markets. Still, it remains to be seen whether the company would ever seriously consider attempting to enter the all-too-competitive craft beer market full time, and if so, whether people would actually be interested in drinking Dunkin’ Donuts beer.