It was only a matter of time until beer tackled the most taboo meal for a drink: breakfast.
Beer, as you’re well aware, goes best with things we closely associate with the afternoon or night, such as warm weather, dinner, bars, sporting events…the list goes on.
But when was the last time you cracked a cold one at breakfast? Poured that Coors Light into your bowl of cereal? Put some milk stout into your coffee instead of creamer? Ya, I didn’t think so.
Here’s the big news: your life is about to change. Sort of. Breakfast beers are on the rise, and by the year 2022 they’re going to be a balanced part of your breakfast. You know, since alcohol extends your life. I mean shortens it. Ugh.
So, in order to prepare you for the future of breakfast, I’m going to talk about some of the different breakfast beers you’ll encounter in the wild.
The Coffee Stout
There’s nothing mysterious about coffee stouts. These are literally just stouts with coffee in them.
Here’s something to keep in mind, however: not all coffee stouts actually use coffee. Malts, one of the main ingredients of beer, are roasted, much like coffee.
And, much like coffee, the roasted flavor sticks out, and the aroma is roasty – like coffee.
However, coffee can be added to a beer to change the flavor and aroma, while also adding a different consistency. In honesty, the difference between a coffee stout with real coffee and a fake phony coffee stout is night and day (in my opinion).
What’s cooler is that your local craft brewers tend to use local coffee grounds. Win-win!
The Breakfast Beer
Such a vague term for such a vague idea. Breakfast beers are technically any beer you have with breakfast. But I’m going to redefine this term to in such a non-strict way that it’s bound to cause frustration and confusion.
A while back I went to Great Notion and had a beer called Double Stack. It tasted like a liquid-gold version of chocolate chip pancakes, complete with the sweet syrup flavor and the feeling like you had way too many pancakes to eat. A perfect breakfast beer.
I’ve also seen breakfast themed IPAs, usually loaded with lactose. Lactose is one of the types of yeast brewers use, and to be completely honest I don’t like the flavor. However, plenty of beer drinkers do, and that milky flavor in an IPA is perfectly suitable for breakfast.
Another suitable breakfast IPA is something so juicy that it reminds you of orange juice. Yes, I’m talking about those hazy IPAs so thick with juice flavor that they can cure the common cold. These are perfectly suitable for breakfast since they don’t blow your palate into smithereens.
Also, many hazy IPAs don’t use lactose. I suggest gunning for those ones.
Now, dear reader, I need to bring up the most deceiving beer for breakfast delights: pastry stouts.
A pastry stout is a stout so sweet that you would expect to have to chase the beer with a shot of insulin. They usually hit the 8-10% ABV range (so dangerous for so sweet), and I can shamelessly say that I absolutely love them.
But, for the most part, pastry stouts do not belong with your breakfast. Pastry stouts are dessert.
There are exceptions. I would say that the Double Stack from Great Notion is a pastry stout. However, the flavor profile allows it to pass as breakfast – sort of like how pancakes are breakfast but any other cake is dessert.
“But Thomas, people eat pastries for breakfast.” Ya, well I’ve had cake for breakfast, but that doesn’t make it a breakfast food. No human in their right mind would consider eating a pastry for breakfast every single day. They’re basically the dessert of breakfast. The dessert. Dessert.
Also, I would not recommend having a beer with breakfast every day. Why? Because it spoils the novelty. Beer is fun, but if you have one with breakfast every day, at some point it becomes a routine. You’ll get in a rut, and your breakfast beer will start to blend with your Wheaties and cantaloupe.
So, there you have it. You’re now ready for the future of beer and, by default, your life. Go forth and enjoy the occasional breakfast beer, but please, PLEASE pay close attention to your palate.