Photo by Stephanie Breijo
Forget the Bloody Marys and mimosas; some mornings call for the thirst-quenching properties of beer. Carbonation can cleanse your palate between bites of brunch, and beer's range of flavor, texture and tone makes for a variety of unique pairings. With more restaurants offering tap lines and bottle options at all hours of the day, we can now sit down to breakfast and ask, "What goes with my gose?"
To aid you in your quest to match beer with breakfast, we've compiled a list of classic dishes with pairing recommendations that will help you make the most of your morning.
- Breakfast Sandwich: A lot of flavors and textures are happening here: buttery, creamy, toasty, sweet, salty and savory; this is where that gose comes in handy. This salt-brewed beer, citric and bright, has enough acid and fruit to balance, cut and clean up with a light, salient finish.
Good gose! I recommend a Leipziger Gose, Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink & The Holy Gose or its Blood Orange Gose, if you're looking for more fruit.
- Steak and Eggs: There are two ways to go about this: heavy or light. To augment a steak's earthy, dark flavors, try a stout — especially an imperial stout — that's heavy and woody, with coffee, mocha and licorice notes. If you want to go light, try a michelada: An acidic and spicy beer cocktail that should melt your most marbled ribeye.
Imperials! Try a Verdi Imperial Stout from Birrificio Del Ducato, or go local and order a Rye Imperial Stout from Ardent.
- Huevos: If you're ordering a dish with Mexican flavor, such as huevos rancheros, opt for a michelada, made with a light, Mexican-style beer of your choice. The complementary flavors — corn in the tortilla with corn elements in the beer, or spice in your ranchero sauce with hot sauce in your beer cocktail — will pair nicely. Micheladas can also add balance to a dish, cutting through the richness of a runny egg yolk. Add a bright hot sauce to your michelada, like Scotch bonnet- or a habenero-based option, for some citrus and floral notes with the heat, or add jalapeño for a more relaxed profile. Finish with lime juice and a salt-and-cumin rim for best results.
Michela-DO! The type of beer used in your michelada is entirely based on preference, but I enjoy Pacifico, Sol or Modelo Especial; just be sure your beer is one without too much extra flavor or body.
- Bagel and Lox: To tame some of that salmon's salt and brine, add light sweetness for balance and pair this dish with an Altbier. A top-fermented beer, Altbier characteristically delivers smooth fruitiness, hitting that delicate flavor sweet spot with a perfect mix of malt and hops. Its crisp and clean finish will keep this meal nice and bright.
Alts! Sample some Scurry from Off Color Brewing, or a Mission Amber Ale.
- Pancakes and Waffles: If you're sitting down to a plate of bready sweetness with melting butter, dripping maple, honey or molasses, a brown ale will match the body and add some caramel, chocolate and nutty flavors — or enhance them, if your meal already has that covered.
Browns! Dig into Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale or Dogfish Head's Palo Santo Marron.
- Fruit and Yogurt: Add a bit of weight to a light breakfast with a Bière de Garde, a "beer for keeping." Though similar to saison with a spicy taste and floral aromas, this maltier option will add a honeyed fruit sweetness with earthy tones.
En garde! Try BFM's Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien or Dupont's La Bière de Beloeil.