Updated on June 14, 2017
Everyone loves brunch.* I mean, what’s not to love?
Breakfast? Excellent! Hash browns! Bread! Avocado! Coffee!
Lunch? Awesome! Don’t have to wake up early! More savouries! Bread!
Bring them together? Somehow blueberry muffins, bruschetta and brunch pizza (?!) come into existence. Amazing.
(Yeah, big surprise: I love bread.)
Of course, another wonderful aspect of brunch is that booze becomes socially acceptable earlier in the day than would otherwise be the case. I’m a firm believer that morning booze every day would be an unhealthy life decision, but that the occasional morning booze is a VERY healthy life decision. And while brunch’s booze companion is most commonly champagne, I think most Schoonerversity readers would agree that the best boozy beverage to befriend brunch is, in fact, beer.
And thus, a new meal is birthed:
Beerunch. The portmanteau meal of kings.
(This meal is so new that my computer keeps trying to autocorrect it to ‘breech’.)
In my indisputable and infallible opinion, beerunch is best enjoyed as an outdoor picnic. In Brisbane, that means you may want to avoid November-February, so your food doesn’t all re-cook and your beer doesn’t boil while your sun-reddened skin audibly cracks. And you may want to avoid May-August, so your blood doesn’t freeze in a sub-20-degrees-celcius wintry gale. Spring and Autumn are the best times.
As for time of day: brunch time is a little controversial, but as long as you’re eating an array of things that doesn’t quite fit either breakfast or lunch, and you’re eating more food for longer than you usually would, any starting time between 8:30 and 12 seems to work. I reckon 10am is perfect (as long as I’ve had a pre-brunch snack a couple of hours earlier).
Somewhere outdoors and beautiful is the ideal. When you’re downing hash browns and IPA by the jewel-glistened river, or blueberry muffins and oatmeal stout beneath a jacaranda tree, you can’t help but feel that you’ve won some kind of life contest.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Brisbane, I recommend New Farm Park or one of the alcohol-friendly greens at South Bank. If you’re somewhere else, I can’t help you. I’m sure you can find some ghetto that’s more attractive than average near your location.
What to eat
Brunch is a confusing and spectacular meal. There seems to be little rhyme or reasons as to what foods are classified as ‘brunch foods’. If you’ve eaten it/heard of someone else eating it for breakfast or lunch ever before in history, it’s fair game. If you want some inspiration, you can always google ‘brunch recipes’.
Some foods I’ve enjoyed at beerunch (in reverse alphabetical order, just for funsies): roast garlic potatoes, pancakes, olives, lemon poppyseed scones with jam, hot cross buns, hash browns, grilled capsicum, fruit platter, dolmades, bruschetta, brunch pumpkin pizza (?!), breakfast quiche (?!), blueberry muffins, bagels, avocado and warm bread.
(Apparently if you add the word ‘breakfast’ or ‘brunch’ before a food, it counts.)
What to drink
It would be completely improper to consume beer before midday. Unless, of course, the beer shared some properties of breakfast foods. In that case, it would almost be improper to NOT drink it before midday.
- Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast choice. So an oatmeal stout is an appropriate breakfast beer.
- Wheat is used to make bread. Bread is a popular breakfast food. So wheat beer must be designed to be consumed for breakfast, right?
- Coffee is arguably the most suitable breakfast beverage, so anything with coffee as an ingredient, or in the name, or in the tasting notes, makes a lot of sense as a beerunch beverage.
- Fruit is the quintessential ‘healthy’ breakfast food. So if a beer has fruit added to it, or in the name, or in the tasting profile, well… get it into you. (This includes most pale ales and IPAs, so it’s an easy one. But bonus points for more ‘juicy’ beers.)
- And of course, some breweries are kind enough to go ahead and make a Breakfast Stout, to take all the guesswork out of it. Cheers, Founders.
Having said all of this… some rules are made to be broken. If you feel like it, drink your salted caramel porter and your shiraz-barrel-aged barleywine. I won’t judge. I’ll just ask for an invitation.
Who to invite
You’d think the answer would be, ‘Anyone you’d usually hang out and drink beer with’. But the sad reality is that some people are terrible company in the morning, and beer drinkers can loom large in this category. Try to figure out which of your friends a) love food, b) love good beer, and c) aren’t lame jerks before midday. Invite those ones. The ones who don’t mind if you take a little mid-meal-nap are especially good to have around.
That’s really all you need to know to get a rockin’ beerunch off the ground. Throw in some funky jazz in the background, and maybe a frisbee or football for that weirdly energetic friend we all have, and you’re set.
And look, if you reeeeeeally want to have beerunch, but you reeeeeeally feel too lazy to organise all of this… well, some good beer venues have a sweet spot from about 10am where they serve both beer and breakfast foods. In Brisbane, you could try Atticus Finch in Paddington or The Burrow in West End. Or head out to Fitz + Potts in Nundah, where they take beerunch so seriously that their brunch boards come with a pot of beer as standard.
And remember: beerunch is only as nutritionally irresponsible as you make it. It’s up to you to stuff yourself with greasy, salty, sugary, boozy goodness.
*If you don’t love brunch, you were conceived by the dark forces and I have nothing more to say to you.