Hipster Craft Brewery Causes Count Chocula Shortage

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If you of a certain age, you may remember the great American heyday of kids’ breakfast cereals. It was a glorious time — a time when supermarket aisles as long as basketball courts teemed with boxes of sugary goodness and when we were all free to buy Count Chocula cereal every day of the year.

Those days are long gone. Still, since 2010, Americans have at least been able to look forward to seasonal distribution of Count Chocula cereal — and Franken-Berry, and Boo-Berry — during the September and October run-up to Halloween.

Now, even this tradition is imperiled because some hipster brewery is buying up all the Count Chocula to concoct a high-priced craft beer.

The scene of this injustice is Fort Collins, Colo., area NBC affiliate KUSA-TV reports.

The hipster brewery is Black Bottle Brewery, a trendy, well-located, and relatively new purveyor of small-batch beer and small-plate food.

Black Bottle Brewery owner Sean Nook purchased every single box of Count Chocula from two local Albertsons grocery stores so he could put a Halloween spin on a beer he calls “Cerealiously.”

Other variations of “Cerealiously” use Golden Grahams, Reese’s Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

“We put the cereal into a hop back so it doesn’t get into the beer,” Black Bottle manager Steve Marrick said, according to USA Today. “We did it as a joke at first, but the beer turned out well.”

Nook, the owner, explained that he bought about six cases of Count Chocula altogether, and that each case of the marshmallow-filled General Mills brand contains 12 cereal boxes.

“We recently threw all the boxes away, but I kept the box tops for my daughter for her school,” Nook told KUSA.

At least one Albertsons customer reportedly complained about the absence of Count Chocula on supermarket shelves.

To his everlasting credit, the hipster brewery owner said he was able to give the woman a box from his enormous stash.

Albertsons stores in Fort Collins are all out of Count Chocula until next autumn. However, KUSA notes, other supermarkets still have some boxes on the shelves.

Boo-Berry and Franken-Berry both remain readily available at local Albertsons stores this fall.

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Eric Owens