How early is too early to start drinking? Trick question. As Rust Cohle taught us, time is a flat circle. So, whether you arrived fresh out of bed or after pulling an all nighter, there was no judgement passed at Fat Head’s Breakfast Beer Brunch. This gathering served as the ultimate Big Pour hangover cure and was free to attend. Craft beer enthusiasts were provided with some tasty brunch treats to pair with the ridiculous lineup of breakfast beers, served courtesy of Fat Head’s Saloon on Carson Street in the South Side.
The Sunday morning air was perfect for drinking as my lovely wife Lindsey and I arrived in the South Side. Apparently we weren’t the only ones eager to pull up a stool and consume the greatness in store as we quickly found ourselves standing in line with dozens of other Fat Head’s fans anxiously awaiting entry to the event. We also came across some familiar faces as we ran into Breaking Brews/PCBN Blogger Angelica Ross and the guy who created Breaking Brews and PCBN, Jason Cercone.
Once inside, the bar was jam-packed with folks clamoring for the unique and special lineup of beers on tap. Anyone who’s been to Fat Head’s knows perfectly well the selection is stellar and, from the hoppiest to the maltiest and everything in between, offers a little something for everybody. But today’s offerings were extra special. Pull out your drool rag and get a load of these:
- Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS)
- Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS)
- Founders Blushing Monk Belgian Style Raspberry Ale
- Fat Head’s Tweaked Out Hippy Sippy, an Imperial Stout w/ coffee, cocoa, and vanilla
- Fat Head’s Rye Barrel Aged Battle Axe, a Baltic Porter
- Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Zeus Juice, a Belgian Golden Ale
- Terrapin Wake n’ Bake and French Toasted Wake n’ Bake, both Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stouts
- Troeg’s Java Head, an oatmeal stout w/ coffee and espresso
- And last but not least, a collaboration brew featuring Fat Head’s, Founders, and Devils Backbone called Smoke N Burn, which is an Imperial Porter
Wow…what a lineup! It was an absolute necessity, because of the size of the crowd and, well, see above, to order two beers before nestling in at a table on the patio.
Everyone in our group got a little something different. Jason went Zeus Juice and Hippy Sippy, while Angelica chose a KBS and CBS. Lindsey decided to tackle a Zeus Juice and French Toasted Wake n’ Bake and yours truly went one on one with a CBS and Hippy Sippy. It was close to this time that Brunch goodies hit the table and we all dove into Pointe Brugge waffles accompanied by Arsenal peach compote or bourbon barrel aged maple syrup and slab bacon on a stick. Sweet tooth, salty tooth, it didn’t matter what the breakfast cravings were…Fat Head’s had us covered and only charged for the beer!
Once settled on the patio, Lindsey told me she was only drinking half of each of her beers. This, of course, meant bonus beer for me! It was a tough assignment, but I felt I was just the man for the job. All four beers in front of us were excellent, with the lowest score being 3.75 on Untappd (come check in beer with me! Find me @jaronbarton to follow…just sayin’). If I had to crown a champion from our choices, I’d put the Tweaked Out Hippy Sippy at the top of the list. It has a dark roasty smell, perfectly balanced, smooth finish, and doesn’t drink like a 10% ABV beer at all. The sweetness is enjoyable but not too overwhelming like some other sweet beers of the world.
The crowd at Fat Head’s was totally into this event. With a beer lineup like that, how could you not, right? Providing high-quality food at no charge was a very nice touch as well. The Fat Head’s crew was running around like crazy to ensure goblets and pint glasses were always filled with something remarkable. Since it’s getting tough to secure a ticket to Big Pour, I like that there was another awesome beer event the same weekend that myself and people who miss out on Big Pour were able to attend. I hope Fat Head’s follows this event up with something similar next year. These guys have been giving us incredible food and beer since the early 90’s (before I could drink legally) and it’s events like this that prove why Fat Head’s continues to stand tall as a staple in the Pittsburgh craft beer landscape.