Fans of Breaking Bad, rejoice: Schraderbräu is finally happening. Sony Pictures Television announced this week that Hank Schrader’s homemade German-style lager from Season 2 of the critically acclaimed series is headed to a fridge near you—and according to the actor who played Hank, it should be there just in time for summer.
“I’m excited, man,” said Dean Norris, who portrayed the golden-hearted DEA agent for all five seasons of Breaking Bad. “We talked about it a long time ago, but it’s finally coming.”
Norris is more than just a spokesman for an obscure-but-beloved reference from the series. The actor, who now plays a Dixie mob boss on TNT’s Claws, led the charge to bring the brew to life, which involved extensive research and testing to make sure it was a product worthy of Schraderbräu’s purported “silky perfection.”
“It took a long time to find the right brewery,” said Norris, who joined forces with California’s Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. to produce Schraderbräu. “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.”
Esquire jumped on the phone with Norris to get the lowdown on all things Schraderbräu.
Making Hank a homebrew guy was brilliant.
That was all [Breaking Bad creator] Vince Gilligan—he thought that seemed like a Hank-kind-of-thing to do, you know? And he’s right. It felt right for the character, and it allowed that one scene where the bottles are popping off that showed his anxiety about gunshots, where he almost shoots Marie.
Breaking Bad fans have been asking him about Schraderbräu for years.
People online always talk about how they would love to have a Schraderbräu, so I’m really happy to be putting it out there. I was thinking about it close to when the show ended, and I messaged Vince. He thought it was a great idea. But I was on another show right away and just got busy. What spurred my interest again was when we had the 10-year anniversary last year, and I thought, “Oh, that could be a fun project.”
Norris is serious about making a beer that lives up to the name.
My main concern was that it wasn’t a gimmicky-type thing. We wanted to make sure someone wasn’t just buying it to put it on their shelf—although, they’re welcome to put it on their shelf as well. We wanted them to taste it and go, “Wow, that’s perfect.” Everybody that has tasted it has used the word “fantastic,” so we really love it.
It’s more than just a one-and-done.
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.
Schraderbräu will be here just in time for summer.
It should be on shelves in late May! We’ll have it online and some national retailers.