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The Perfect Beer For Pancakes

Whereas some people may frown upon consumption of alcoholic beverages before noon, I encourage it. (Some people may read that statement and tell me that it is an indicator of a problem. Those people are silly folks and prefer to ignore them.)

If you think like me, then you will agree that the consumption of alcohol is appropriate at any hour … day or night.

I am not opposed to drinking during breakfast. In fact, a great brunch is incomplete without some sort of hooch. Typically, The Bloody Mary (double vodka, extra spicy) is my poison of choice. It goes really well with savory breakfast foods such as eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, etc.


But as much as I love my extra spicy, double strong Bloody Marys … they are a horrible pair for pancakes, waffles, french toast, scones, danishes, blintzes, cobblers, muffins, fruit and all the other sweet breakfast goodies.


When it comes to the sweeter side of breakfast, one can always reach for a Mimosa or a Bellini (classic brunch cocktails). OR … why not try a fruit beer?

Normally, I would go straight for the fruit lambics of Belgium for this post. Although this blog is not about fruit lambics, they would make an excellent pairing with a number of breakfast items – particularly those made with fruit.


The other day I stumbled upon a bottle of Melbourn Bros. Strawberry Beer. The bottle said spontaneous fermentation … and we all know that The Wench is a sucker for wild yeast beers. So naturally, I purchased the beer and did some research on its origin.


Melbourn Bros. Strawberry Beer is spontaneously fermented and brewed with malted barley, wheat hops, yeast, water & fresh strawberries. The brewery is located just off the main square in Stamford, a small town in Lincolnshire, in the east of England. It was established in 1825 by William Brown Edwards. In 1869, the business was purchased by Herbert Wells Melbourn.


The brewery was rebuilt with more modern equipment, after a fire destroyed the original brewing facility in 1879. It was renamed Melbourn Bros. Steam Beer Brewery. In 1970, it was decided that the brewery was too old and too inefficient and operations ceased. Operations were resumed in 1994, when the brewers decided to brew in an ancient British tradition using spontaneous fermentation. They also decided to flavor the beers with fresh fruit (the process is very similar, if not identical to the creation of fruit lambics.)


Brewing in the old tradition turned out to be advantageous, as the old fashioned construction, wooden tanks, and hard-to-clean surfaces proved to be ideal for spontaneous fermentation. (The best conditions for spontaneous fermentation are old and exposed areas that are conducive to breeding bacteria.)

Melbourn Bros. currently produces three fruit beers: Apricot, Strawberry & Cherry. I cannot speak for the other two, but the Strawberry is killer sweet – yet not artificially sweet. The best way to describe the beer is jam … all-natural homemade strawberry jam.


This is why I have declared this beer to be the best beer for pancakes … pancakes that have been smothered in fresh strawberries or a homemade strawberry sauce, a few sprinkles of powdered sugar, and perhaps a bit of whip cream and a sprig of mint. Strawberry crepes would also do the trick …


Although the flavors and aromas of this beer are obviously not complex, I will include my tasting notes … for shits and giggles.


Brewery: Melbourn Bros

Region: Stamford, Lincolnshire, England

Style: Fruit beer, spontaneously fermented

Pairings: Pancakes, pastries, cheesecake, dessert, cheeses, baked goods, brunch, fruits

Color: Cloudy, light amber red

Carbonation: Moderately carbonated beer. Pours a thick, white head that lasts. Moderate lacing remains on the glass till the end.

Aroma: Sweet strawberries with notes of sweet grass. Light acidity on the nose.

Mouthfeel: Very light bodied beer, low in alcohol.

Flavor: BAM! Strawberry jam in the face. Fresh strawberries take over the major of the palate. The beer is definitely sweet … but not artificially so. The acidity level balances the sweetness nicely. The carbonation is ideal and prevents the beer from being too syrupy.

Finish: The bombarding sweetness yields to a nice tart finish that, surprisingly, lasts quite a bit.

Comments: The taste of the beer inspired the contents of this entire post. The minute I tasted the beer I thought … mmm breakfast. All I wanted was some hot pancakes straight off the griddle, covered in powdered sugar and completely smothered in a warm, homemade strawberry sauce.


So whether or not you agree with drinking during breakfast, Melbourn Bros. Strawberry is definitely a pancake beer. (Originally, I thought it would be the perfect Belgian waffle beer … but, the perfect Belgian waffle beer would in fact be a Belgian beer, no? And so we will go with pancakes!)

So if you don’t want to drink while eating actual breakfast in the morning, make breakfast for dinner … and then pop open one of these babies.


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8 Responses to “The Perfect Beer For Pancakes”

  • Marko January 14th, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Excellent blog as usual. Will there be follow up blogs for lunch and dinner?

  • comoprozac January 15th, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Beer was actually the most popular breakfast drink until sometime in the earlier part of the 20th century when it was replaced by coffee.

  • Kevin January 15th, 2009 at 7:22 am

    I love the angle…finding beer for breakfast…I definitely don’t frown upon it. However, I’m definitely a fan of the savory breakfast…not big on the sweet. What do you suggest to go with the savory?

    I recently tried Rogue’s Chipotle Ale and thought, because it’s spicy and would pair well with pork, it would go great with breakfast just as the Bloody Mary does.

  • cwylie0 January 15th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    i should try a fruit beer for breakfast, b/c normally i am not wanting a fruit beer later in the day. i like duvel in the morning b/c of its refreshing, & hangover-erasing potency.
    plus let’s not forget that alcohol kills morning breath dead.

    my favorite part of this post was the shot of the beer, bottle, and candle. maybe next time we can get some vanna white hands in there?

  • Amanda January 15th, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    This sounds yummy! I was thinking of a nice, thick sweet stout for breakfast, but it’s hard to go wrong with strawberry!

  • beerdoctor January 16th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Excellent work. The idea of beer for breakfast has been around for a very long time. The Germans have a brunch tradition of washing down breakfast sausage with a lively lager. When Maple Lagers were the rage of the moment, people used as the liquid part of a batter for French toast. The perfect Belgian beer for a “two sticks of butter” waffle recipe? I would have to say Duvel in a Duvel glass. Cheers!

  • 1WineDude January 18th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Well, I can certainly attest from first-hand to the quality of English brews! Will have to check this one out. Over pancakes. And bacon.

    By the way – had dinner at Victory last night, Abbey 6 was in the hizzy!

  • Bob the Brit January 23rd, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Goodness, that sounds really interesting!

    I hadn’t realised we had spontaneous brewing here in the UK.

    Thanks for the information, I’m going to be on the lookout for Melbourn Bros. beers in the future maltough maybe not to go with breakfast.

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