Monday, April 9, 2012

Beer for Breakfast

Saturday-morning breakfasts are fairly ritualistic in the Brownfoot household. I get up and make breakfast before our endless running back and forth between dance classes and practices begins. The family breakfast of choice is homemade, whole-wheat pancakes.

The type of pancake varies. Often, I mush up bananas and add them to my mix. Typically, I throw in a few chocolate chips to appeal to the kids (who am I kidding? We all love 'em!). For St. Paddy's Day, I even added a bit of green food colouring and shaped the pancakes to resemble shamrocks. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw a shot of my first attempt. Trust me: the others looked far worse.

This past Saturday was no exception to our pancake tradition, except that this week we woke up late and Lori made the pancakes while I rushed one child to a jazz class, only to learn that because of the Easter weekend, classes were cancelled (but comp practices were not). And so we returned home to a lovely stack of pancakes with maple syrup.

This year's early thaw was hard on the maple industry. While sugar shacks were able to start production sooner than usual, the high temperatures shortened the sap season. I wonder how that's going to affect the cost of maple syrup?

That didn't seem to matter for the folks at Trafalgar Brewing Company—a.k.a Trafalgar Ales & Meads. These Oakville brewers have put together a beer that seems all about the maple syrup.

Maple Bock
Oakville, Ontario
LCBO: $4.95, 650 mL; 6.5% alc/vol.

Maple Bock is a traditional bock, with a deep reddish-brown colour, though the head didn't last long at all. It was gone by the time I poured the beer, grabbed my camera, and composed my shot. But I did love the colour of this lager.

The maple in this beer hit me squarely on the nose, mixed with a slight dough, and I immediately thought, "pancakes." This brew smelled like the breakfast I had earlier that morning.

In the mouth, there seemed to be very little fizz, though I'm quick to add that by no means did this bock taste flat. I was reminded of a cask-conditioned ale: there was life in this glass. And, again, the maple syrup dominated. Yet, though the flavour of maple syrup was strong, it was not as sweet as maple syrup; there was no cloying in the mouth.

The finish was quite clean. Though this is a strong beer, the alcohol is nicely balanced. Maple Bock is a clean lager with intense flavours and a nice, light finish.

I enjoyed this bock. I told Lori that I would gladly have it again. I might even put some in our next batch of pancakes.

Not really, but I would consider sipping a glass with my pancake breakfast. A breakfast of champions!

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