Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Beer Spotlight: Moa Breakfast Beer

No one flinches if Sunday brunch features a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar or all-you-can-stomach mimosas, but print “breakfast” on a beer bottle and get ready for trouble. When Moa, a New Zealand brewery, started Breakfast Beer in 2011, it was accused of “normalizing pathological behavior.” Of course, Moa could have just named the beer something else, but then there wouldn’t have been hundreds of articles and blog posts (like this one) all over the world, giving Moa free publicity.

Moa was founded by winemaker Josh Scott and that background inspires his beers. Many are bottle-conditioned, so there’s some yeasty sediment or “lees.” With Breakfast Beer, Moa says it “can either be poured carefully off the lees or alternatively with the lees mixed in if a stronger yeast character is desired.” Let’s go with “stronger,” shall we?

First, you pop the cork on the 12.7-ounce bottle. (5.5% ALC, BTW) I definitely smell the cherry essence that was promised, and worryingly, a little skunk. Very pale straw color on the pour with frothy white head – and cloudy, since I did my best to kick up that deceased yeast.

It’s got a thicker mouthfeel than I anticipated - not sugary sweet, but not bone-dry either. I can’t decide whether the vibe is more “cherry” or “cherry candy.” For better or worse, it’s going to remind some drinkers of cough drops. It’s definitely a wheat beer. I also get hints of banana, raspberry, and (despite the green bottle) a hint of skunk funk.

Moa Breakfast Beer is interesting and makes me curious to try other more conventional beers in the line, but I'm not sold that this is anything more than a novelty - fun once, but once might me enough. The next time you’re having migas or hash and eggs on a late Sunday morning and want a little something along side, I’d suggest a Guinness or a freshly-made michelada.

1 comment:

  1. Review of Breakfast Beer from my buddy Charlie ----

    I joined John tonight in trying the MOA Breakfast beer. Based on the name, I suggest MOA rethink the Breakfast Beer moniker. For this version maybe they should depart for my favorite of HOTD (hair of the dog).

    The wife and I swung by Total Wine on our way home from Gainesville. Normally I'm needling the alcohol haystack in search of John's picks for a good twenty minutes or so at the palace of wine and spirits. I blame it on dumb luck and pair of my wife's better eyes, but we found MOA BB HOTD in a matter of seconds.

    I was surprised to see the 12.7 ounce green bottle with a cork on top. It had the look of the balsamic vinegars Aunt Betty used to buy me as a traditional Christmas gifts through the years. Popping the cork had me a little apprehensive since I've had champagne cork incidents in the past. Once, I had one go through our kitchen drop ceiling. Must be a family trait since my Dad gave my Mom a black eye with one on their honeymoon. This one fortunately popped politely causing no physical damage.

    At first whiff, MOA BB HOTD smelled green. At first sip it tasted red. Usually, I like to breathe out into my closed mouth after tasting something new to find more flavor. Definitely tasted orange on that exhale.

    In the beginning what tasted sweet eventually grew more bitter with each quaff. At 5.5% alc. by volume and sporting a $4.99 price tag, it's a somewhat pricy thing to uncork if you are looking to relieve the pain of getting corked the night before. I did buy two bottles of MOA BB HOTD. I'll just put the spare under glass... and break in case of future morning after emergencies.