I’m a good ol’ fashioned warm-blooded American, so I know the best way to start my day is with a hot cup of coffee and a big breakfast. And just like every other warm-blooded American knows, the only thing better than hot coffee and a good breakfast is hot coffee and a good breakfast with booze in the mix. So in an effort to find a brew fitting of my early morning ritual, I ventured with open arms into the land of breakfast beers. Now of course, I’m no stranger to the old “quickly-crush-whatever-three-quarters-of-a-beer-you-left-from-last-night-to-cure-that- hangover-before-it-hits-you” thing, but sometimes you need a full-bodied, healthy and nutritious breakfast in a single sip kind of beer. I tried a variety of beers with my breakfasts this week, and in an effort to make your breakfasts even more enjoyable, here are my thoughts on four breakfast brews.
Grist House Double Vice Coffee Porter 6.2%
“Porter” as a descriptor of beer usually makes me jump to thoughts of thick and chocolatey brews, but the Grishouse Double Vice was an excellent switch up from the usual. I’ll be honest, if I had a rough night and you woke me up with one of these and told me it was a cold brew, I’d have a tough time calling you a liar. The coffee dominates most of the palate, and the overall taste is light and crisp, a real breakfast beverage for any type of morning, from scoping out a spot for a tree stand to just heading to the office. Whatever you have planned for the day, the flavors and fragrance of the Double Vice will get you on your way to getting the job done.
Spoonwood Brewery’s Cold Drip City Coffee Blonde Ale 5.8%
When I first sipped the Cold Drip City, I had to take a moment to just reflect on my day. Like a great cup of coffee, the Cold Drip City makes me want to think about what it is I plan on accomplishing today; I sip the beer, beautifully light and yet packed with smooth and robust coffee flavors and aromas, and I plan my schedule. This beer reminds me of something Hank Hill would drink in the morning; this beer is a neat, calculated, and adult approach to breakfast sippin’;I’m quite impressed.
Shubrew Breakfast of Champyinz Oatmeal Stout
It’s hard not to have a bias when I write about these guys, I used to work right up the street from ShuBrew when they first opened; I remember going there in summer after we closed up the bar at Burgh’ers and eating and drinking on the house, it was fantastic. Just like the service and crew at ShuBrew, this beer doesn’t disappoint. It walks that fine line of morning meditation and hangover cure, warm chocolate notes are balanced by oaty dryness and a crisp bite. What really impresses me is how this beer is able to provide a sweet taste without being too overbearing and heavy on my stomach, a feature that only adds to the beauty of this beer accompanying a weekend lawn-mowing or Steelers game.
Weyerbacher Sunday Morning Stout 12.7%
Listen, I can’t lie to you, if you’re drinking this beer on a Sunday morning, there’s a reason. We all know why you’re here. So does this beer, and it delivers with a punch. At 12.7% and aged in bourbon barrels, the boozy scent is the first thing I noticed. I also noticed a boozy taste when I drank it, but if you couldn’t guess that it was going to taste boozy by this point, you need to keep up. There is an initial bourbon bite in the creaminess of the beer, a pleasant surprise for me.After the bourbon hits, the light and creamy flavor train brings in coffee, subtle yet crisp, rounding out this morning buzzer into a great start to any Sunday morning.