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Dogfish Head to Debut a Beer Full of Breakfast Food

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I'm not a big beer drinker, but I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, which means I have the distinction of being one of the only people more interested in the congealed mush of pork scraps and cornmeal than the alcohol in Dogfish Head's new brew, Beer for Breakfast.

Among the founding beers when the brewery first opened in 1995 was a limited edition Chicory Stout (now available seasonally), which was brewed with Mexican coffee, along with chicory, licorice, and St. John's Wort. The coffee lends the brew a breakfasty flair, but it's subtle, meant to pair more with chocolate than eggs Benedict. When the brewery returned to the morning meal for inspiration recently, they decided to do so with more commitment, more fervor. This time, the team took their cues from the world of regional breakfast meats, specifically the Mid-Atlantic favorite, scrapple—a sort of fried patty made of cornmeal and seasoned with spices and pig offal, the scraps left over after butchering that may include the head, heart, and liver.

"It’s been wonderful to see dozens of breakfast-themed beers come to market since we first did ours," says Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione. "I thought it would be a great time to flex our creative muscles and try to brew a beer that has the most diverse group of ingredients referencing the meal and its name. It’s sort of an ‘everything-but-the-breakfast-nook’ stout."

Maybe not everything, but there is certainly a lot of breakfast packed into each pint: Maple syrup, barley smoked over applewood for a bacony aroma, lactose (milk sugar), a special coffee blend added cold press post-fermentation and last but certainly not least, scrapple from Rapa Scrapple.

"Sam’s vision of translating the distinctive taste of Rapa scrapple into a beer was a unique proposition," says Rapa representative Donna Seefriend. "Both Dogfish Head and Rapa’s production team brainstormed more than a few ideas, and it was decided that a super-lean version of our original recipe would balance nicely with the other ingredients. The end result is a remarkable beer that manages to bring together all the flavors of the quintessential American breakfast." 

If you're interested in tasting the unique brew, it debuts December 5th at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. But if you've never had scrapple, I recommend trying it just on a plate with eggs, first.

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Animals
Why Tiny 'Hedgehog Highways' Are Popping Up Around London
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Hedgehogs as pets have gained popularity in recent years, but in many parts of the world, they're still wild animals. That includes London, where close to a million of the creatures roam streets, parks, and gardens, seeking out wood and vegetation to take refuge in. Now, Atlas Obscura reports that animal activists are transforming the city into a more hospitable environment for hedgehogs.

Barnes Hedgehogs, a group founded by Michel Birkenwald in the London neighborhood of Barnes four years ago, is responsible for drilling tiny "hedgehog highways" through walls around London. The passages are just wide enough for the animals to climb through, making it easier for them to travel from one green space to the next.

London's wild hedgehog population has seen a sharp decline in recent decades. Though it's hard to pin down accurate numbers for the elusive animals, surveys have shown that the British population has dwindled by tens of millions since the 1950s. This is due to factors like human development and habitat destruction by farmers who aren't fond of the unattractive shrubs, hedges, and dead wood that hedgehogs use as their homes.

When such environments are left to grow, they can still be hard for hedgehogs to access. Carving hedgehog highways through the stone partitions and wooden fences bordering parks and gardens is one way Barnes Hedgehogs is making life in the big city a little easier for its most prickly residents.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
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Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


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Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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