Yes, beer has always been for breakfast.
But a few breweries around the country -- notably, Founders Brewing in Michigan -- have elevated and refined the fine art of early-morning drinking with a style of beer called the breakfast stout. Loaded with coffee (thus the breakfast part of the name) and often aged in bourbon barrels for a maple syrup-like kick, breakfast stouts can serve as a meal in themselves or they can be paired with more typical breakfast fare -- which is what Copper Kettle Brewing will do this weekend when it releases its own bourbon breakfast stout.
The brewery is offering two three-course sit-down brunches on Sunday that pair meals made by the Chef Driven food truck with three of Copper Kettle's beers, including the breakfast stout, which won't be released to the public for another week.
Copper Kettle's High Country Oatmeal Bourbon Breakfast Stout was made with a pound of coffee, dark chocolate and Kentucky aged bourbon, says brewery co-owner Kristen Kozik. "We love Founders Breakfast Stout, one of the best breakfast stouts of all time, so we decided to do one of our own. The coffee is what really distinguishes it."
The recipe is based on the second runner-up in the brewery's homebrew competition last year. "We made the recipe a little drier and not as sweet as the home brewer's recipe, but very similar," Kozik says. "We invited him to brew the recipe with us, which he did."
The two brunch services are at 10 a.m. and noon; tickets are $30 and must be purchased in advance. The meal includes a light starter paired with Copper Kettle's Czech Pilsner, a main dish paired with the Bourbon Breakfast Stout, and a dessert or fruit dish paired with the Mexican Chocolate Stout.
On Saturday, February 4, Copper Kettle will release the beer in its tap room; a food truck will be on hand at 5 p.m., and a live bluegrass band, the Acoustic Mining Company, will play at 7 p.m.
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