Skip to main content

You Can Now Drink Booze at Select IHOPs

Image used with permission by copyright holder

What’s better than syrup and butter on blueberry pancakes? Why champagne in orange juice, of course. IHOP apparently agrees.

The ubiquitous breakfast company announced a “Bubbles, Wine & Brews” menu on August 12, featuring curated and locally sourced beer and wine options to go with brand names like Bud Light, Blue Moon, Corona beers, and Barefoot — Bubbly Brut, Bubbly Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The pilot menu is now available at three restaurants in San Diego and New Mexico and will expand to New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Ohio, and additional markets in the coming months. If things go as well as IHOP plans, beer and wine could soon be available at all 1,700 franchises.

Related Guides

This comes on the heels of expansion and experimentation over the past few years. New alcoholic options complement IHOP’s new meal priorities, lunch and dinner. In 2018, the “IHOb” campaign introducing a new burger line at the iconic restaurant, and in 2020, IHOPPY Hour arrived alongside its first-ever lunch and dinner-focused value menu.

Along the same timeline, an IHOP in Phoenix boasted that it was the first to serve alcohol outside of an airport in 2018. Since then, a couple of others — Las Vegas and Los Angeles — followed independently. 

In fact, IHOP created  “Bubbles, Wine & Brews”  using feedback from franchisees who have been offering one-off alcohol programs for the past few years. 

“Our recent ‘Drinks and Dining Survey’ of Americans unveiled that 66% of our recent guests and 58% of our younger guests (ages 21 to 34) have been craving an alcoholic beverage to accompany some of their IHOP favorites,” Jay Johns, president of IHOP, said in a statement. “As we continue to focus and expand on our daytime and evening menu options, adult beverages offer a terrific innovation and evolution to enjoy IHOP for every occasion.”

Alcohol could push IHOP’s recovery from a debilitating pandemic. Alcohol typically yields margins of about 75% for beer and 60% to 70% for wine. That’s compared to an average 3% to 6% general profit margin for a food-only restaurant. 

The new drinks menu will be for dine-in only. This shouldn’t stop you from grabbing ingredients for a drink at home when you’re already picking up IHOP to go.

Read more: IHOP Changes Name

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
Yes, bourbon can be aged too long – here’s how to pick the best-aged bourbon
Why bourbon over 15 years old might be too old
Whiskey in a glass

We all know the general bourbon rules and regulations. To be called a bourbon, it must be made with a mash bill of at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, made in the US (not just Kentucky), distilled to a maximum of 160-proof, barreled, at a maximum of 125-proof, and bottled at a minimum of 80-proof and a maximum of 150-proof. But none of these rules explain how long a bourbon must be aged.

Technically, there are no rules about how long a bourbon must be aged. However, the whiskey must mature for at least two years to be called a straight bourbon. On top of that, bottled-in-bond bourbon spent at least four years aging in a federally bonded warehouse.

Read more
Our 5 favorite gin drinks, ranked
The best gin drinks, ranked
Gin cocktail

When it comes to spirits, there are none as unique as gin. When distilled, gin doesn’t have much flavor, save for the ingredients it’s made with. It’s not all that different from vodka. It’s the addition of juniper berries and various herbs and botanicals either in the distillation process itself (or a second distillation), through vapor infusion (the herbs and botanicals are hung in a basket in the still), or through maceration (adding the flavors to an already distilled gin) that give the gin its distinct, memorable aromas and flavors.

If you’ve ever had gin (or even sniffed it), you know the most potent ingredient is juniper berries. They are what gives gin its patented pine tree aroma and flavor. Other common ingredients include orris root, angelica root, orange peel, and licorice.

Read more
How to drink absinthe and live to tell the tale of the Green Fairy
Do you know the Green Fairy? Get to know it right here
Absinthe with sugar cubes and spoon

Mention absinthe in casual conversation, and you'll likely get a mixed bag of reactions. Some may mention hallucinations. Others may have a wild story or two about waking up on the shores of the Seine, with no memory of the past week. Some may be shy or tentative; speaking of it as a toddler might sneak a trip to the cookie jar. And even more still, particularly in the States, will be ready to spew uneducated judgment on a matter they know nothing of.
Absinthe's sultry reputation
Of course, the varying dramatic reactions could be due to many reasons. After all, the reputation of this mysterious green drink is unparalleled by any other. Blame it on Oscar Wilde, Picasso, or Baz Luhrman, but whatever ideas you have about absinthe are probably false. Well, in part. Perhaps it's time to let go of some of the mystery around the Green Fairy, however sexy that mystery is.

The most important thing to know about absinthe is that it isn't a beginner's spirit. This is because of its potency. Absinthes typically clock in between 50% and 70% alcohol by volume, so you're not going to want to fill a pint and go to town. You could, but we guarantee that you'll never, ever want to do that again.
Was absinthe illegal?
Yes, absinthe was indeed illegal in many countries for a significant period of time. Absinthe faced bans in various countries during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but it was mainly driven by misinformation, concerns, and fears about negative health effects, which were often exaggerated and based on impure absinthe. Competition from wine industries and political agendas played a role in some cases, too.

Read more