I was at Champagne Breakfast function recently and was looked down on for ordering a beer. I’ve never claimed to be fashionable , and often consider myself to be somewhat outside of normal social traditions. But I can’t work out for the life of me why it is that beer at breakfast is seen as unacceptable when Champers, some spirits (Gin for example), or cocktails (Bloody Marys) are?
When I started high school, we had to do the first half of the year in manual arts, and the last half doing home economics. There were two things I took away from Home Ec.
The first was that when making a pillowcase you needed to sew it in such a way that when you turn it inside out the seams are hidden, or something along those lines, I wasn’t listening too much.
The second was that “breakfast was the most important beer of the day”. Well I’m pretty sure that what was it, like I said I wasn’t listening too much.
But I’ve learnt enough to know that with my bacon and smoky breaky meats a porter is going to match a heck of a lot better than a bottle of bubbles. Germans have been having hefeweizen (a type of wheat beer) with their breakfast sausage for centuries. It’s not something that is done daily, but is considered acceptable at breakfast events, but the looks and gasps of horror kind of tell me that it’s not so acceptable in Australia.
My breakfast beer of choice is Toohey’s Old, a porter, which is a member of the ale group of beers. These sit just under stout in terms of fullness of colour and taste.
It’s actually one of Australia’s oldest beers, having been launched all the way back in 1869. It’s got a great mahogany colour to it, with aromas of charcoal and dark malts. On the tongue there is no sharp tang, not as big and chewy as a Guinness but definitely enough to let you know you’re having ale not lager. There is a slight cigar tobacco aftertaste that fades after the first few mouthfuls. This is one of those beers that would get labelled as “sessionable” as opposed to a ‘quiet contemplation’ beer
It’s also one of those beers that are much better out of the glass than out of the stubby
Ultimately if you’re not convinced that these will work just as well as a glass of bubbles or Gin and Blood Orange at breaky, then you should still try and find a place at your table for these at some time.
Other Great Australian Porters
James Squire’s Jack of Spades Porter – a deep red brown colour, it’s more delicate than a stout and shows hints of malt chocolate, on both the nose and tongue, with a creamy texture. Match it to roasted or smoked foods, caramel type deserts such as sticky date pudding, or pancakes with maple syrup.
White Rabbit Dark Ale – I rolled this out for a couple of female friends the other day who aren’t big beer drinkers and they loved it. There is a touch of fruit and florals in the smell. It’s quite creamy on the tongue, full of dark chocolate and light roast characters yet still with a touch of that fruit aroma. There’s a solid bitter finish and a great after taste that really allows the malt to come through. It sits somewhere between the Little Creatures Roger’s Ale and the James Squire Porter. Try it with fresh oysters.
Coopers Dark Ale – The taste is distinctly Coopers with a sharpness combined with tastes of toast and warm bread coming through with the levels of yeast. Dark Ale is a style that often lends itself to winter or autumn evenings. However Coopers Dark Ale has a little extra zip to it which means, just like all the dark ales listed, it will make itself at home in warmer climates. Try it with huge thick steaks or Cajun style blackened fish, smoked meats or bacon and egg sanga’s. Bloody great in a casserole or pie too