In Colorado, drinking and dining on the patio is a year-round activity, and some months are more pleasant for it than others. Now is the time of those pleasant months — slightly cool in the mornings, clean air freshly washed from the previous afternoon’s shower, leafy green trees dotting the landscape and clear sunshine casting warmth from above. Now is the time for long brunch sessions on the patio with heaping plates of eggs, potatoes, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, fried chicken, fresh fruit and bright alcoholic beverages that sparkle in the mid-morning sun.
When you think of a brunch beverage, chances are you think of bottomless mimosas and bellinis: fizzy concoctions of sparkling wine and fruit juice — orange and peach respectively — whipped up in the back with bottles from the bottom shelf. Sure, there are some who adore Andre’s saccharine sweetness, but for those seeking a beverage with balance, here are a couple of brews that’ll do the trick and more.
With the bellini in mind, try Left Hand’s latest seasonal, the Peach Beerllini Radler. The base is Pale 2-row malt — which helps provide the backbone of the brew — but from sniff to finish, this Radler is peachy keen. It looks heavier than it drinks — the appearance is thick and cloudy with the color of muddled peaches — but the body is light and refreshing, sweet enough to go along with anything salty or savory on the table. And at 4.1 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), you’ll be able to enjoy plenty Beerllinis before the afternoon nap.
Looking for hops without giving up the juice? Odd13 is your poison. Its latest S.M.A.S.H. IPA (single malt and single hop India pale ale) highlights Amarillo, a typically citrusy hop with a decent amount of bitterness.
It’s Hop Troll, and this hazy IPA has an attractive lemonade yellow color, a nose full of breakfast juice and a flavor of fleshy grapefruit. It also carries a bit more weight than a Radler (6 percent ABV), but not so much that you can’t enjoy a couple while noshing a chorizo breakfast burrito laced with green chili and cheddar cheese.
Excellent choices both, but what would Sunday brunch be without Wells Banana Bread Beer? True, there is nothing new about this magnificent brew (Wells has been making this delightful concoction since 2002), but anything this good bears repeating. It’s roasted banana in color with a white, fluffy head on top; toffee banana aromas hit you right up front, continue into the mouth and then fade into a dry finish of bitter hops, cleaning up your palate for the next sip. Some brunches come with a sweet dessert to brighten up your day, but with Wells Banana Bread Beer, you won’t need dessert, you’ll just need another Wells.