Breakfast Beer: Not Just For Alcoholics Anymore

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The craft beer movement has produced some surprising side effects for the brewery world; suddenly blueberries, cherries and chocolate are considered hops-friendly ingredients, giving beer a whole new aisle in your local liquor store. In fact, beer is so user friendly with food these days, we are thinking that a brew tasting of banana bread, sounds like a better match for our french toast than a Bloody Mary does.

Admittedly, only soft-core alcoholics traditionally suck down beer first thing in the morning (although vodka and champagne based drinks seem perfectly acceptable in American society, beer is often overlooked as a lunch or dinner accompaniment.) And we understand that coffee is the most coveted breakfast "brew," but what if, in a perfect world, beer and coffee combined forces? Welcome to the future where mixology starts to take on an entirely new meaning.

Considered one of Terrapin's "monster beers," (cookies are for kids) the Wake 'N' Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout (8.6%) is a very dark beer that they term a "coffee stout," meaning it's so thick and black it looks a lot like coffee in your cup. This brewery from Athens, Georgia teamed up with a neighborhood caffeine peddler, Jittery Joe's Coffee, who uses a premium blend of beans from Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Zimbabwe. Not usually what we think of when the words "wake n' bake" come to mind, but that's a breakfast topic for another day.

Wells Banana Bread Beer

(5.2% ABV) does indeed smell like the real thing, with a light

fragrance of banana that greets your nose on every sip. There's a slight

citrus note that balances the caramelized banana infusion, which stops

this beer from being coyly sweet. Wells & Young is the brewery

behind the banana bread meets beer phenomenon, which is the largest

independently owned brewing company in the United Kingdom. Brilliant

work old chap.

The Cuban Style Espresso Brown Ale

(5.5% ABV) from Tampa's Cigar City Brewing company won the gold medal

last year in the Best Florida Beer Championship. Dark Cuban style coffee

beans are roasted first to exact specification by a local Italian

market called Mazzaro's in St. Petersburg. Chocolate, caramel and vanilla join the flavor profile of this coffee based beer, making it a Starbucks "frappuccino" drink equivalent in brewskie form.

New Zealand's MOA Brewing Co. uses floral hops and cherries to flavor their Breakfast Beer,

a "fruity lager" that the company launched to provide a

"European-style" brew for breakfast, but apparently, Kiwis usually prefer to consume

this type of beer in the afternoons. It's a lighter weight option for

the early hours, so if those stouts scare you, this may be your best a.m. option.

Rogue Ales in Oregon tapped the talents of a popular bakery, Voodoo Doughnut, to make their Bacon Maple Ale. Voodoo's signature "bacon maple bar" provided the inspiration for this beer made with house-smoked hickory malts, applewood smoked bacon, and a sweet dash of maple syrup flavor. The scent of bacon is powerful, but the taste is not too overwhelming, it's a sweet and woodsy beer.

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