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The Best Maple Syrup Beers Bring Breakfast to Your Pint Glass

Following the runaway success of Founders’ coffee-forward Breakfast Stout, brewers have developed innovative ways to bring the bold flavors and distinct ingredients of the morning meal into our pint glasses. Case in point, you can now find beers brewed with grits — yes, grits, that southern breakfast staple. Bacon fans may be contributing to the resurgence of the Rauchbier style, which mimics the salty, smoky flavors that we know and love. There’s even a beer named Biscuits & Gravy that (thankfully) doesn’t taste like its namesake.

But in many brewhouses, the most successful and widely-used breakfast standard is maple syrup. The natural sugar in maple syrup is a perfect catalyst for boosting a brew’s alcohol content, adding a touch of sweetness, or infusing a bit of childhood nostalgia into your ale. Even if you’d never pour a beer for breakfast (which, let’s be real, you probably needs to try once in your life, just to say that you have), you’d likely welcome the rich, warming goodness of maple syrup in these beer selections any time of day.

Hop Cakes

NoDa Brewing Company

Hop Cakes NoDa Brewing Company
NoDa Brewing Company

While big, toasty stouts may be the obvious choice for a beer to utilize maple syrup, NoDa (named for the hip North Davidson area of Charlotte, North Carolina) has flipped that concept with a Double IPA that is sweet, citrusy and yes, boozy at over 12 percent alcohol by volume.

Maple Bacon Coffee Porter

Funky Buddha Brewery

Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Funky Buddha
Funky Buddha

One of the beers that kickstarted the Funky Buddha empire back in 2010, Maple Bacon Coffee Porter is just as impressive today. It’s malty, creamy and drips with maple syrup goodness. You shouldn’t expect any less from the brewery known for replicating diverse food flavors in its beer lineup.

Christmas Pancakes

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Christmas Pancakes Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

For this seasonal release, Hardywood Park takes its amazing Gingerbread Stout and ferments the beer a second time on maple syrup. Now available in bottles, Christmas Pancakes adds another exciting GBS variant for fans to track down. (Who wouldn’t want to pop this open on Christmas morning?)

Fayston Maple Imperial Stout

Lawson’s Finest Liquids

Fayston Maple Imperial Stout Lawsons Finest Liquids
Lawson’s Finest Liquids

Boasting two gallons of Vermont maple syrup per barrel, this cellar-aged beer from Lawson’s combines maple, coffee, and dark chocolate flavors into a complex beer that is surprisingly easy to drink. It’s the perfect beer for pairing with robust holiday meals.

Mornin’ Delight

Toppling Goliath Brewery

Mornin Delight Toppling Goliath Brewery
Toppling Goliath Brewery

As part of an exclusive club of beers that require their own ticketed release day, Mornin’ Delight is as hype-worthy as they come. Folks trek from around the country to Toppling Goliath’s Decorah, Iowa brewery for the opportunity to buy a strict allotment of only two bottles. The beer’s “World Class” rating at Beer Advocate leads one to believe it may be worth the effort.

For similar seasonal flavor profiles, check out the best sweet potato and pumpkin beers.

Editors' Recommendations

Lee Heidel
Lee Heidel is the managing editor of Brew/Drink/Run, a website and podcast that promotes brewing your own beer, consuming the…
The Best Summer Sakes to Buy
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Just as we do with wine and cocktails, we crave different types of sake in different seasons. So to get the lowdown on the best summer sakes we should be drinking (especially as we enter the dog days), we chatted with International Sake Sommelier Jessica Joly. Not only is Joly a WSET Level 3 sake sommelier, she’s also the marketing director of Sake Discoveries and the inaugural winner of Miss Sake USA 2016. Joly knows her stuff, and she loves to educate her U.S. audience on the nuances of sake through tastings and food pairing events. Joly talks about her five favorite summer sakes below, including tasting notes and ideal food pairings so you can find your warm weather match.
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If you’re a fan of rosé wine, you’ll love this lively, fruit-forward sake. “We call this sake the ‘Pink Lady’ because of its rose color,” Joly says. “The color comes from the ancient strain of black rice that they add during the end of fermentation. This producer uses flower yeast for all their sakes, and they blend Pink Nadeshiko (flower), strawberry, vanilla, and cactus for this particular brew.” This sake is lightly sweet with fruit undertones of fig and strawberry. Joly recommends drinking it with bold dishes like beef bolognese and sweet and sour chicken, and it also makes for a lovely aperitif before a meal.
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oskar blues frenchs mustard beer pr select 2

Mustard and beer is a great combination, but usually we're talking mustard used as a condiment on a sausage or pretzel alongside a pint. Colorado's Oskar Blues Brewery has taken this pairing to a whole new level with a new collaboration with French's Mustard, appropriately called French’s Mustard Beer. It's a tropical wheat beer that is literally brewed with French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, along with an infusion of fruit and citrus flavors including key lime, lemon, tangerine, and passion fruit. “We’re stoked on bold flavors at Oskar Blues Brewery and we never shy away from a challenge,” said Oskar Blues head brewer, Juice Drapeau, in a prepared statement. “With French’s Mustard Beer we elevated the Classic Yellow Mustard flavor with tangy lemon and lime to create a tropical wheat ale I’d pair with a loaded hot dog on the hottest day of the year.”

This isn't the first food crossover for French's, known for its bright yellow mustard that is ubiquitous at backyard barbecues around the country. Last year, the brand collaborated with Coolhaus to release a mustard ice cream that was available in New York and California for a limited time alongside a pretzel cookie. And Oskar Blues is no stranger to brewing uniquely flavored beer, as indicated by its "Death By" series of brews with such flavors as king cake, coconut, and even affogato.

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Learning to brew your own beer doesn’t have to be hard. For a basic brew, I liken it to making boxed macaroni and cheese. If you can measure ingredients, add in items at specific times, and maintain a relatively steady temperature, you can make beer. However, it can be expensive to buy (and inevitably to upgrade) the equipment and homebrewing is a large time investment. An all-grain brew day can easily take up an entire Saturday — and that’s not including all the clean-up.

For those with small spaces, limited time, and some cash to spend, counter-top appliances and straightforward, beginner craft brew kits are all the rage. These homebrewing kits fit right in beside toasters and microwaves but promise to make brewing beer as simple brewing as a pot of coffee. Or maybe even microwavable mac n’ cheese.
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