Although bloody marys, mimosas and Champagne are the typical go-to brunch libations, craft beer offers a wide array of flavors that perfectly match the mood -- and the food -- of a leisurely Mother's Day brunch.
Here are four styles that can find a place at any brunch table, even if your mom isn't (yet) a beer fan.
Coffee stouts and porters
An on-the-nose suggestion, but coffee is a natural pairing for brunch, and there is no shortage of coffee beers available. Try Stone Brewing's new variant of its imperial Russian stout that adds espresso beans, Blue Bridge coffee stout from Coronado Brewing Co. or Smog City Brewing's wonderful Groundwork coffee porter (if you're lucky enough to brunch where it is on tap).
This traditional -- and approachable -- unfiltered German wheat beer is a classic brunch beer. Hefe's bready and fruity flavors pair wonderfully with all manner of brunch foods, and the lively carbonation and refreshing tartness can cut through richer benedicts and schmeers. Golden Road Brewing's flagship Hefe features bright citrus notes while Black Market Brewing's version exhibits more of the distinct banana and clove flavors that the style is known for.
Gueuze and fruited lambics
These Belgian specialties are complex examples of spontaneous fermentation and wood aging, and their flavors can range from horsey and funky -- like the Gueuze Tilquin or the easily found Cuvee Renee from Lindemans -- to fruity and sometimes sweet kriek and framboise. These later examples are lambic beers that have been refermented with fruit -- sour cherries and raspberries, respectively -- that results in layers of flavors and often vivid colors that find a natural home on a well-laid Mother's Day brunch table.
Bière de Champagne
A relatively new style, the bière de Champagne (also called bière brut) was developed in Belgium to compete with high-end wines and spirits. Examples of the style are refermented in the bottle and then processed like Champagne to remove the yeast sediments. The resulting brew is delicate, dry and effervescent in the way a traditional Champagne is, and bière brut can make for a surprising addition to a Champagne brunch. The most common examples are DeuS from Brouwerij Bosteels and Malheur Bière Brut -- both from Belgium. The Boston Beer Co. also makes Samuel Adams Infinium; a well-respected domestic take on the style.
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