Foods infused with beer like today's recipe for beer-soaked French toast are a novel way to toast St. Patrick's Day with friends and family. Meagan Graddy | Special to the Times
By Meagan Graddy
I know that most people think of mimosas and bloody Mary bars when the topic of brunch arises, but I say why follow the crowd?
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I think that a beer brunch sounds much more appealing (and you may even be able to get the guys excited to join in!)
While Guinness is the traditional Irish stout associated with the holiday, that’s not to say that you have to limit yourself to just stouts. We are fortunate enough to have two craft beer stores and a brewery in Wilson alone, so we’re certainly not without local options.
Now, the way I see it, celebrating this beer-drinking holiday can go several different ways.
Although certainly not an exclusive list, here are a few ideas for how to ring in St. Patrick’s Day a bit differently this year.
Assign Beer Styles
If hosting the brunch at your home, I’d recommend having each guest bring a different beer style to share. Coffee stouts, oatmeal porters or goses are all great options for a brunch menu.
By having each guest provide a few bottles of their assigned beer style, you can have a larger variety of beer options without having to break the bank buying all of the supplies.
Once all of the beer has arrived, you can’t let it go to waste! Even if you’re not a beer connoisseur, the tasting portion is half the fun. You can download free beer tasting sheets for all of your guests, or simply have each bottle numbered and guests can vote for their favorites.
Pro Tip: Be sure to have pretzels on hand as palate cleaners in between each beer type.
As the hostess with the mostest, you can bring your brunch to the next level by including recipes that feature beer in them. Some of my personal favorites are soft pretzels with beer cheese, beer-soaked French toast and Guinness cupcakes for dessert! Check out the recipe for beer French toast below:
Beer-Soaked French Toast
1 cup Chocolate Maple Porter
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter, melted
● Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
● Whisk together eggs, beer, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Coat both sides of bread in mixture and set aside for 10 minutes.
● Cook on stovetop for 3-4 minutes on each side.
● Transfer to baking sheet and finish cooking in the over for 10 minutes.
● Serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup
Even if you’re not a fan of heavy beers, these beer cocktails are a great way to stick with the theme and create options that are appealing to everyone. If you’re not a fan of craft beer, the beermosa is probably right up your alley! You can substitute Bud Light or your favorite light beer for the champagne in the traditional mimosas, and ta da! Perfect for the brunch theme.
(And if you are trying to stick with craft beer options, Sofie by Goose Island is a great option to try).
Don’t Forget the Decor!
You can easily repurpose old beer bottles as vases for floral arrangements. I also found an awesome beer garland on orientaltrading.com that makes for perfect decoration for the tasting table.
Whether you’re like my husband and St. Patrick’s Day is your favorite holiday, or you’ve always spent it getting pinched because you forgot to wear green, I hope that this beer brunch creates a fun alternative way to spend the holiday this year.
Meagan Graddy of Wilson is the owner of Magnolia Grove Weddings and Events. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.