If you’re a beer person like me, then you probably already know that this is the time of year when Founder’s brewing FINALLY brings back one of their most popular brews, the Breakfast Stout. This is a canonical beer that you should try if you haven’t already, and this year I was so inspired I decided to plan a whole meal around it.
What meal you ask? Have you figured it out yet? Breakfast, duh.
This is a big oatmeal stout (8.3% ABV, the label says it’s a “malt beverage”) brewed with chocolate and coffee, and you can only get it once a year (September to February). I figured I could pair it with a meal you should probably only eat once a year, the classic “Full English” breakfast. The “Full English” as it were has many variations, but the core players are as follows:
Meat: *Sausage, *Bacon
Veg: *Mushrooms(?), *Tomatoes
Toast: Toasty (codename: bean mop)
Here’s what you do:
In a large skillet, melt what Jamie Oliver calls 1-2 “knobs” of butter, and lay down your sausage (cut in half, lengthwise) tomatoes (scored in little hashmarks on one side to help them cook faster) and mushrooms (wiped clean and stems cut off) on medium heat. Sautee for a few minutes on each side so they get brown and crispy.
Oven preheated to 350, lay your bacon strips out on a baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes. Beans should simmer on low in their own pot.
Crack 2 eggs in a bowl with a shot of milk, scramble (optional: scramble in the pan after removing the meat and veg. This made my eggs look a little uglier but taste a little awesomer.)
When the eggs hit the pan, pop toast in the toaster and get another “knob” of butter ready for that.
If you time this right, the whole thing takes like 20 minutes tops, i was actually impressed at how fast this breakfast was ready. Prep the veg and eggs beforehand and you are golden.
Ok, I can’t help you with this one. Get a friend. Dental hygiene cracks aside, the brits know how to make a bloody breakfast. Holy cow. This is made for 2 men or 1 Ron Swanson/Burgundy.
But Justin, What about the beer? Oh yeah, right. So you want to get your beer out of the fridge right when you start cooking, and let it rest at room temp the whole time you are cooking. Your fridge is probably around 35-ish degrees F and you probably want this beer closer to 50-60. Trust me. Miller High Life This Ain’t. Still with me? OK go get a nice big glass and clean it out real good. I mean clean. Again, just trust me on this one ok? You owe it to yourself to drink it out of a glass, it isn’t going to climb out of the bottle and sniff itself for you.
Appearance- This is obsidian black, the sun does not peek through except at the very edges, where it is copper-red-brown. Small beige head that dissipated quickly and left little lacing. The grease from my lips (from the bacon and sausage) probably didn’t help this.
Smell- Huge warm dark chocolate nose with caramel malt, and hops buried somewhere in there. To be honest, the aroma doesn’t give much away.
Taste- This beer tastes like the quintessential oatmeal stout, inspired by what starbucks mocha latte wishes it could taste like. Here we have a huge stout wrapped around a chocolate truffle center, with a shot of espresso chaser. There is a reason people love this beer, and this is it. The smell doesn’t let on how much coffee flavor you get at the end, nor how clean and pleasantly bitter it is. Bitter malts hide the heat from the alcohol, which only peeks through if you “chew” it too long.
Mouthfeel- Chewy. Irish oatmeal squeaky. A meal in itself.
Overall - This beer was great, even taken literally and enjoyed at 9 AM with a huge English breakfast. This is what your morning coffee should taste like. It takes bold flavor to break through the greasy bacon/sausage combo, and the beer does so with a battering ram and a search warrant. And the breakfast is (almost) big enough to soak up all 8.3% alcohol in this 12 oz giant, so you can still get to church on time. Phew, that was close. I had fun with this one, only problem was I was so stuffed I had trouble stirring to start the dishes…