Happy New Years! New Year’s Day is a weird holiday. All of the celebration goes on the night before –leaving behind a wake of hungover devastation. It’s basically a holiday crafted to provide a day off of work to recover.
New Year’s Eve is a lesson in how not to drink. Switching between spirits, beer and who knows what else? Yup, plenty of that. Too much sugar? Oh yeah, those shots and champagne did the trick. Not enough water? Of course – desert mouth, here we come.
With a night like that, there is no hope for the day after, right?
Well, call me crazy, but I’m just not willing to wave the white flag, so I turned to beer/food/hangover experts Colby Cox and Gavin Fine of Roadhouse Brewing Co. for their New Year’s Day survival guide.
Gavin and Colby came together in 2012 to found Roadhouse, pairing a ski bum turned avid homebrewer (Colby) with a European trained restaurateur (Gavin). The duo has a combined 34 years of experience living in the community that Roadhouse calls home – Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
While they knew of each other prior to teaming up to bring Roadhouse Brewing to life, it took Colby prodding a mutual friend into an introduction before the two hit it off – and hit it off they have. After working on a smaller system for the first few years, Roadhouse moved to a larger 10,000 square foot facility boasting a lab and expansive brewing system. In the first three months in the new digs, Roadhouse doubled its prior annual production.
The bacon, with the lemon of the homemade shandy, that’s going to set you straight.”
With four year round offerings currently distributed to Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Roadhouse is bringing quality craft beer to a previously beer starved region.
Together, their track record at Roadhouse Brewing shows they know a thing or two about both food and beer – and luckily for us they are willing to share some of their insights on the perfect combination to fight that New Year’s Day hangover.
So let’s start here, what did you do the night before to find yourself in this kind of shape to begin with--what are your typical New Year’s Eve plans?
Colby: You want the unadulterated version? The last two years have been spent at Madison Square Garden watching Phish play.
So obviously the next day can be a little rough. What is your go to breakfast to help you get by?
Colby: The best thing for me on New Year’s Day, when I’m out of town – especially in New York, is to eat the room temperature pizza from the night before that I binged on after I got back. Along with something out of the fridge that I didn’t overconsume the night before. Typically for me that’d be an IPA from Brooklyn Brewery.
Gavin: I might head to Shake Shack and get a fucking greasy burger at that point. You can get a Shackmeister Ale there too, made for them by Brooklyn Brewery.
That’s great. Definitely not your typical New Year’s Day brunch. What about if you were at home? Something easy that gets the job done.
Gavin: Here’s what I would do – grab some leftover ham or maybe some bacon you’ve got from the local butcher, you throw that in a pan with some oil and crisp it up. Then you take two eggs, crack them in and cook them over medium or a little less with some of your favorite hot sauce. Toast up an english muffin and put the meat, eggs and some cheese – hopefully pepper jack or something with a kick – all together on the muffin to make an easy breakfast hangover cure to pair with your drink.
Colby: If it has really been a big night, going the shandy route just helps with the blood sugar level and hydration a little bit – at least for the first one. Once I get the first one down, then I’m good and variety is my modus operandi.
Gavin: Take your leftover lemon or citrus and some sparkling or soda water from the drinks the night before, pour yourself about three quarters of a glass of a good IPA, top it with the fruit and water and you’ve got a homemade shandy. The bacon, with the lemon of the homemade shandy, to me that’s your balancing act with the acidity going on with the grease – that’s going to set you straight.
What’s the one beer that you know will hit the spot on a day like January 1?
Gavin: Mine's Family Vacation, our American Blonde – something light, bubbly and easy – that’s all I can take, but Colby’s a trained professional, better than I...
Colby: Yeah I’d probably go with a saison or perhaps even better a sour beer. It does well for me when I can’t really think about ingesting anything else. Our Saison en Regalia is a peach infused barrel aged sour – that’s something I can put down under any circumstance.
Everybody loves a bloody mary the next day but I’m actually not a fan, what beer do I need to look to as a stand in?
Gavin: We made a beer that was geared towards the ski world. After skiing you take off your boots and you want a beer, so we made a beer called Loose Boots that we call our après-ski IPA. We also believe it is a good hangover helper.
Colby: The reason why I love an IPA, something that is lighter, for whatever reason it just seems to cut through whatever I’m eating for breakfast – which on New Year’s Day is usually something greasy. An IPA, for me, helps cut through that so I don’t feel like sh...uh...all bloated and fat.
The orange juice beer combo – a beermosa or brass monkey – has become really popular on brunch menus. Where do you guys stand on that?
Colby: I’m not a huge fan.
Gavin: Neither am I, I don’t like it.
Colby: The orange does too much to affect it. I like the taste of beer, and it’s hard for me to get the flavor through the orange. The citric acid is just so strong it takes over. Whereas with something like Gavin’s homemade shandy, I’m still getting the beer flavor that I’m looking for but I’m cutting it so it is more drinkable and hydrating. I’m not trying to throw myself into diabetic shock with five mimosas in the middle of the day.
What about after breakfast as the day gets going – what do you turn to then?
Colby: A Belgian Golden Strong Ale – ours, Siren Song, is 13% alcohol. I think a snifter of that after your breakfast IPA with Gavin’s sandwich would set you straight for a while. That and a good nap.
Sounds like you guys are big believers in the hair of the dog…
Is there ever a hangover so bad that a little hair of the dog can’t cure it?
Colby (laughing): No, I have never had experience. You can go too far though. If you go too far, then you’ve got the double drunk, double hangover the next day and that’s not good.
It is a balancing act, if you end up with the dreaded double hangover then all you’ve done is kick the can down the road and made it even worse.
Colby: It’s terrible. Then you’re embarrassed, you have to hide it.