Southdown Breakfast Stout
We all need dictums by which to live, little idiosyncratic guidelines to follow based on own own unique personal experiences. For instance, the concept of “airport time” dictates that however a person chooses to self-medicate before a flight is unaffected by the time of day. In other words, if you want to have a Jack and Coke before your 7:30 am flight, knock yourself out, buddy (literally).
Airport time can be applicable also on vacations, music festivals, and sporting events.
Another of my favorites is the four-hour rule. It reads like this: If you’ve been awake for four hours, you can eat or drink whatever you’d like.
If you woke up with a screaming infant at 4 am and you look into the fridge longingly at that leftover chicken parmesan then notice the clock says 8:00 am, let societal norms fly right out that window. You’ve been up four hours. Get yourself a plate, head to the microwave, and make sure the grated cheese is nearby.
The four-hour rule is why I love the concept of beers that include the word “breakfast” in the name. It’s almost tacit assurance that what you’re doing is right. Have this beer. It’s okay. It’s breakfast. Have you been up for four-hours? Great. Oh, you haven’t? That’s okay. There’s an airport nearby.
Sand City may be making its name on their hop-forward beers, but Southdown is the underrated star in their lineup.”
Sand City Brewing Company in Northport, NY on Long Island is one of the up-and-coming stars of the brewing scene. Their lineup, prolific and diverse, rarely hits their mark. It was their hop-forward beers that brought them to my attention, but recently on a trip to Long Island, I found myself handed a 16-oz. can of Southdown Breakfast Stout, their take on a coffee- and chocolate-forward dark beer.
The beer pours an oil black, minimal lacing, almost no head. Up front is a nostril-fill of roasted coffee, but in a good way, like coming down the stairs in the morning to an almost-ready pot. There’s a subtlety of deeply-darkened chocolate on the nose, too. The beer is one of the owner’s favorite as well, according to brewer Billy Powell.
The real star of the show in Southdown Breakfast Stout, however, is the mouthfeel. It’s has a medium to heavy body, which is balanced out by light carbonation creating a really nice soft middle. At the finish is a lingering bitterness of black coffee and dark chocolate, and what I felt was a hint of ashiness. At 7.5% alcohol by volume, this is a bigger beer, but doesn’t drink like one. It’s decadent without being filling, a tricky combination to master.
Sand City may be making its name on their hop-forward beers (truly, their Second Wave DIPA is on par with anything being made in the six New England states right now), but Southdown Breakfast Stout is the underrated star in their lineup.
It’s a breakfast beer you can drink literally all day, whether you’ve been up for four hours, at an airport, or not.