Brunch Better with Beer
Let this article be the end of the mimosa. Although that zesty orange and tightly packed effervescence make for a great combination to cut through your fluffy eggs, why over pay for it? What if I told you of a few different ales that will do the job better, with more complexity and complementary flavours to your next brunch with your best friends.
Hoegaarden is back in can format here in Nova Scotia and my Sunday brunches have never been happier. Hoegaarden is the OG Belgian witbier that opened the doors for the likes of Shocktop and Belgian Moon and revived the style. Like all witbiers should be, Hoegaarden is brewed with mostly wheat which promotes a fluffy, dense head packed with carbonation. Along with mouth feel, the high wheat content contributes a nice bready-ness that will match with that whole wheat toast you plan on scooping the remainder of your scrambled eggs with. Orange peel and Coriander are the main players when it comes to this beers flavour profile, the citrusy brightness of the orange peel ties in with the classic brunch theme and helps the carbonation cut through whichever chewy protein you have chosen to help that hangover.
Sticking with the wheat theme we have Erdinger Weissbier. The German counterpart to Belgian wit, Weissbier is even more highly carbonated than Hoegaarden. Typically, a vase of Weissbier will have between 2-4 inches of foam crowning the pale gold, hazy beer. The high carbonation and bready-ness that we expect from the wheat shines once again with brunch in the Weissbier. What differentiates Weissbier from its Belgian colleague is that instead of being spiced with orange peel and coriander it gets its signature flavour profile from the special type of yeast used in the style. Weizen yeast ferments at higher temperatures than most other yeasts and in turn spurts out more flavourful esters and phenols. Weizen yeast’s signature Banana-like esters (isoamyl acetate) and clove-like phenols (4-vinyl-guaiacol) are what makes it such a great brunch beer. Flavours of ripe banana meld perfectly with eggs benedict, toasted bread and hollandaise sauce while the carbonation promises to scrub your tongue afterwards. The clove acts as seasoning for that extra order of breakfast sausage you could not resist. If you want to try a local version of a Weissbier I highly recommend seeking out Breton Brewing’s Stirling Hefeweizen!
Maybe you are the type that can’t eat anything heavy for brunch but fancy a chocolate croissant from LF Bakery and don’t want to miss out on the brunch beers your friends are indulging in. Try Propeller’s Coffee Porter! Brewed every November with a healthy dose of Coffee Beans from Java Blend. This beer has all the coffee and deep chocolate notes you could need to pair with your pastries.