Breakfast beer

At one point when I was homebrewing more, I was dreaming up ideas for what would make a good breakfast beer. Something that could actually be enjoyed once in awhile with (or for) breakfast, like mimosas or Bloody Marys. A fruit beer, or a lambic like Lindemans Framboise are the obvious styles to come to mind, but how about something more creative?

It seems to me that such a beer should have some weight to it, some body and flavor, something like a hearty breakfast should be. If you’re going to drink a light fruit ale, then you might as well stick to champagne; a breakfast beer should offer more.

Let’s cover some brewing possibilities:

  • Oatmeal. The quintessential breakfast cereal, it brews up a terrific stout—thick, chewy, smooth.
  • Coffee. This tends to pair best with darker, richer beers, like porters and stouts.
  • Malted wheat. Beyond the traditional hefeweizen and other wheat beers, this could add some interesting characteristics to a darker beer.
  • Milk sugar (lactose). Makes a beer sweeter with more mouthfeel. I began thinking of this when, at the Oregon Brewers Festival, a tent featuring the (I think) Oregon State University’s brewing science department (or somesuch) was offering up a milk stout they had brewed, largely with milk sugar. And what goes better with cereal than milk…
  • Maple syrup.
  • Fruit. Notwithstanding what I wrote about fruit above, certain fruits can add tremendously to the character of a dark beer. I’m thinking along the lines of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries; a blueberry porter, for instance, or raspberry stout. Avoid citrus fruits at all cost, though.
  • Honey. This tends to ferment out very cleanly, so you might not get much of a honey character to the beer.
  • Chocolate. Something remniscent of hot cocoa or a mocha coffee drink?

The beer I envision is something like an oatmeal milk stout. Possibly with fruit and/or honey. Done right, a tall pint of this could be the meal in itself. I think you’d want to try to keep bitterness to a minimum and shoot for a sweeter, maltier profile, but that might just be me.

Now, as to what types of beer would be appropriate with breakfast, that’s a different post…


  1. I’m of the mind that a good porter makes an excellent breakfast beer. I haven’t ever had one for breakfast, but I can’t help but think of some that way.

    I say give your recipe a try. It could be good… or not…

  2. I am making a blueberry/maple syrup beer. The initial SG was 1.075 and seems to have stopped at 1.020. I’m wondering if there is some unfermentable sugars contributing to the high final SG or has my yeast wimped out on me? I wonder if I’ll wind up having to pour this on my pancakes!!! Any thoughts?

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