A good breakfast combines textures, flavors, hot and cold. Crisp and savory bacon pairs perfectly with soft and fluffy pancakes (or waffles) with maple syrup. There’s the bitter and acidic notes from a good cup of coffee – or the taste of berries, chocolate, and smoke. Breakfast balances act of eating dessert as a meal. And, if it’s done right, breakfast is the best meal of the day.
A good breakfast brings me back to my childhood. There were mornings watching television, usually SportsCenter or “Johnny Quest” as my dad got me and my brother ready. I ate a bowl of frosted mini wheats most days. But weekend breakfast was special. Those mornings featured cartoons, a fat stack of pancakes my mother made with some room temperature maple syrup. There was a cup of orange juice or a glass of milk to wash it down.
Really, though, the best breakfast was breakfast for dinner. It’s dessert without having to eat summer squash or zucchini first. An Americanized version of bangers and mash made me happy because breakfast sausage snapped and its warm and sweet insides mixed perfectly with the salty gravy and buttery mashed potatoes. A pancake, a vehicle for serving maple syrup, for dinner is a mystical experience that somehow flips a day upside down and can leave you in a place of zen. It removes all pressure and weight of life. It’s a joyous experience that reminds us, subconsciously, that any day can go in any direction and sometimes all we need is a hit of pleasure to bring it back and realize life is actually pretty great.
It’s that combination of memories of food and comfort that came to mind as I drank a glass of Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast, an oatmeal stout brewed with coffee. It was breakfast for dinner. A late night snack that brought back feelings of a childhood.
It drank smooth and rich with a hint of creamy goodness from the oats.”
Oatmeal stout and coffee stouts go back as far as creative beer making. They’re tried and true combinations that play off the natural flavors and textures of the intense roasted malts and creamy nature of stouts.
Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout set the market standard. It’s rich and creamy, decadent almost. And when it hit me the first time as a 21-year-old, it was something that changed my perspective on what a beer could be. It didn’t play by any of the rules I had come to expect. It was rich without being over the top and it grew more enjoyable as it warmed up in a glass.
Mikkeller, the once gypsy brewing company with bars and breweries across the globe, is known for its curiosity and ability to combine bold flavors. So, when I picked up a bottle of Beer Geek Breakfast , I expected something strange and different. Instead, I got a refined beer that delivered all the notes it promised, and more. When I poured it, the motor oil syrup I was expecting came out smooth and easy; its thick and brown sugar looking head dissipated quickly but not without emitting a beautiful bouquet of pour over quality coffee aromas of roasted cacao and berries; it drank smooth and rich with a hint of creamy goodness from the oats.
As I drank Beer Geek, I was sitting alone on my couch watching the Boston Celtics. My family had all gone to sleep save my dog, who was curled up next to me. It was one the first cool fall nights of the season. The wind from a torrential storm the prior day still howled outside. I sat on and settled into the evening, reminiscing about a time when I was the one who went to bed first and hoped for a tall stack in morning.