This week’s Canada’s Craft Beer post comes from our Atlantic Canada craft beer guy, Todd Beal. This week Todd explores beers that bring breakfast or brunch to mind since they include coffee. The brews he reviews are stouts from Maybee Brewing and Prince Edward Island Brewing.
The term "breakfast beer" is one of the most joked about terms I think I've heard; to be honest, when it's acceptable to drink a beer is becoming more and more blurred. There are several lighter beers, particularly mixed with fruit juices, that are available at brunches along with mimosas and bloody Marys.
In fact, the notions of beer as food and drinking beer as an experience rather than a quick refreshment or to wash a meal down has come a long way. To enhance flavours brewers are adding complementary adjuncts to beers like citrus juices to IPAs and pale ales and of course coffee. Coffee is added as a flavour boost to both ales and lagers with stouts and porters being the most popular, but some breweries are using it in everything from IPAs to cream ales. As I said, some stouts and porters have coffee added to them as the roasted malts already impart a coffee flavour that's enhanced by the addition.
This month I got to New Brunswick to a very new brewery and then over to Prince Edward Island to its largest brewery.
Maybee Brewing — Elevensies Espresso Stout
Paul Maybee opened Maybee Brewery late last year and has since opened a retail space and taproom in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Elevensies Espresso Stout was one of his lead beers and was supplemented with Just Us Fair Trade Organic Italian Roast Coffee. The brewer describes the beer as "... brimming with get-up-and-go. Loaded with espresso flavour and aroma, this beer's not just for breakfast, but a great afternoon pick-me-up too."
The stout pours a very dark brown with a thin head that dissipates fair quickly. On the nose I get a lot of coffee, as expected, as well as roasted malts, spice and dark chocolate. The flavour yields loads of coffee of course, plus toasty malts and dark chocolate, and has a medium body and carbonation. The finish on Elevensies is bitter just like drinking a good espresso. Great beer for the upstart.
5.5% ABV | 40 IBUs | Available NB
Prince Edward Island Brewing — Transmitter Coffee Stout
Prince Edward Island Brewing opened in 2013 and brews the Gahan brand as well as its own. Transmitter Coffee Stout is a robust stout that's made with coffee from the Receiver Coffee Company in Charlottetown.
The stout pours very dark with a small tan coloured head. Aroma has loads of coffee and roasty malts. The taste is again lots of coffee with a hint of chocolate and dark malt. The stout has a good amount of carbonation and a medium mouth feel.
5.5% ABV | 20 IBUs | Available PE and NS
The marrying of my two favorite beverages is a homerun in my book.
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Todd Beal follows the craft beer scene closely in the Canadian Maritimes and reports on it weekly on his blog, Maritime Beer Report. He’s frequently asked to comment on television, newspapers and magazines as a craft beer expert. He can be heard Friday afternoons on News 95.7 commenting on beer. Visit his blog and follow him on Twitter @MaritimeBeerRpt.