beer cocktails

Brews for Brunch

When your Friday night’s faded into a blurry, PBR-soaked memory, sometimes a fruity mimosa or salad-like Bloody Mary just isn’t what the doctor ordered. Fight fire with fire: if beer is the dog that bit you and your head is aching for relief, sometimes it’s wise to avoid vodka and go straight back to your first love – hops.

Craft beer has swept across the DMV in recent years, but if you look a little deeper, there’s been another trend that’s made DC look a little more like NYC as of late: the beer cocktail. But sometimes for brunch, you don’t want something too fancy. Lucky for you, the region has a variety of brunch options for beer lovers of all stripes.

The Beer Mimosa

This may take you a second to get your head – or taste buds – around, but it exists: the beer mimosa. And you can find it at Scion Restaurant: 2100 P St. NW, DC or 1200 East-West Hwy. Silver Spring, MD; Scion used to offer the acidic beer concoction on their bottomless brunch menu, but now you can request their in-stock wheat beer with OJ by the glass. It’s hard being single, or maybe the Temperance Movement is having a comeback.

But it’s a pretty simple drink, so you can just try it at home in your own bottomless punch bowl: scoop a Hefeweizen – or six – and mix with orange juice (and add slices of fresh orange for sex appeal).

The Beer and Egg Cocktail

When you’re in the mood to drink your breakfast, do it the right way – with beer and egg all in one. Mixologists came up with a new take on the root beer float at Boundary Road: 414 H St. NE, DC; It’s called the Five and Dime cocktail, and it starts with some egg yolk that’s added in with maple syrup and root beer liqueur. The concoction is then mixed with a porter, giving it a frothy, root beer float-like feel and look. There’s one catch though: the Five and Dime is no longer on the menu, but they tell me they still have all the ingredients behind the bar. So just ask them to whip one up for you and tell ‘em I sent you!

The Michelada

If you wake up and need to pack in some food and a few inexpensive drinks before heading to a Nats game, check out Navy Yard’s Agua 301: 301 Water St. SE, DC; They offer a spicy take on the Latino specialty the michelada – a beer-infused variation of the Bloody Mary that’s relatively light and perfect for summer days. At Agua 301, this hangover cure is served with fresh lime juice, hot sauce, tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce.

But let’s face it – the michelada has been around since before Navy Yard got cool. Check out a local Latino dive in whatever neighborhood you live in. The chances of finding delicious food, friendly people and an authentic – if less spicy – michelada are strong.

The Shandy

If your taste buds are crying out for some refreshing citrus after checking out a museum or going for a stroll on the Mall, but you don’t want all the pulp and prosecco of a mimosa, you may be in the mood for a good, old-fashioned shandy – the original beer cocktail, one might say.

As the temperature starts to heat up, mosey on over to Eastern Market’s Boxcar Tavern: 224 7th St. SE, DC; It’s a quaint, little old-time pub that refreshingly – or annoyingly, depending on your mood – smells like a pub. In the summertime, they serve Curious Traveler Shandy, a Traveler Beer Company ale infused with lemony goodness that’s sure to perk you up after a night on the town.

The Beer Run

There are those Saturday and Sundays when you just want to curl up on your couch, but that doesn’t mean you can’t imbibe. If you need an excuse to crack a cold one, just tell yourself (or your partner) that you really want to try the growing trend of coffee stouts. A good place to scoop a variety of them up is at Red, White & Bleu: 127 S Washington St. Falls Church, VA;

They sell Brooklyn-based Sixpoint’s C.R.E.A.M., or Cash Rules Everything Around Me, for you non-Wu-Tang Clan aficionados out there. As they advertise, “You started with cream in your coffee, now have coffee in your cream ale.” ‘Nuff said.

Red, White & Bleu also sells a special craft beer for those days when you need to tackle some chores, but you really just want to drink a beer or two. Try the Cosmic Ristretto Black Lager by Green Flash in San Diego. It’s a black lager infused with cold-pressed espresso, hence the name Ristretto – a true coffee beer.

Sure, everyone’s raving about mimosas and Bloody Marys these days, but just remember to be you. There’s nothing classless about cracking a good, old-fashioned American craft beer while at brunch. But if you want to fancy your suds up a bit, remember the DMV has some great options that may even turn some heads when you’re out (or hanging some art at home) over the weekend.