This week, Sony Pictures Television announced that fictional homebrewer Hank Schrader’s dreams will soon be reality. In the second season of AMC’s cultural juggernaut Breaking Bad, Agent Schrader of the DEA (played by Dean Norris of the TNT’s Claws) liked to turn to his homebrewing equipment for a little R&R, a hobby that resulted in a German-style lager that got its very own, extremely memorable, label (seen in Norris’ T-shirt, above). Now, Norris and Sony have partnered with California’s Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. to bring Schraderbräu to life, “brewed to silky perfection,” in 22 oz. bottle format with a healthy 6.3 percent ABV.
Norris told Esquire that the idea was first discussed “a long time ago,” and that the 10 year anniversary of the series’ premiere in 2018 was what finally spurred him to make it happen. “It took a long time to find the right brewery,” Norris told Esquire. “I knew if I put out a beer, it’s gonna get a lot of scrutiny—I don’t want people going, ‘Ah this is crap.’ We finally got one that made a really fantastic beer.”
What’s most encouraging about the Schraderbräu announcement is that Norris seems dead set on making sure this is more than a novel gimmick (though it is that). In the interview linked above, he mentions more than once that he wanted the beer to live up to the fictional hype. And that’s an effort that extends beyond the taste of the first beer. Here’s Norris, speaking about the future of the partnership:
We’ve got one style now, which is a Märzen-style German lager, and we have plans for a winter ale, a special “Oktoberfest” style, a summer pale ale—maybe we’ll even get my buddy Gomie [Agent Gomez, from Breaking Bad] involved and do a cerveza.
The first Schraderbräu will arrive in late May, and will be available for purchase online and at “some national retailers.”