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Breakfast and Beer

Breakfast and Beer

Jim Hightower

The sweeping shift of the $10-billion cereal market to healthier alternatives is, in fact, an enormous, grassroots victory, driven by the organic movement.

"Craft breweries are gaining market share — production of good beer was up 12 percent last year to 24.6 million barrels." (Photo: Alcase/flickr/cc)
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Most liberal cities are full of craft brewers anyway.

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This was an uplifting story, and a nice alternative to the constant depressing barrage of Trump/Congress’ assault on democracy-stories. I’d noticed the price of the gross mass-produced breakfast cereals getting lower and lower over the last couple of years (as I passed them by in the supermarket aisle; I don’t eat them). Now I know why. And I have always despised American “beer,” actually malt-beverages, as they are nowhere near any actual variety of real beer. Bud, Miller, Schlitz, Hamms, Rolling Rock, Pabst, Old Milwaukee, Coors - all the same, all mass-produced piss that would gag a goat. And of course, all LOVED by vast swathes of good ole’ American boys (and some girls). Seeing the HUGE increase in popularity of “craft” beer (i.e., REAL beer, as known in the rest of the world) over the last few years has been uplifting, as a real beer lover. I had no idea Budweiser’s sales had dropped by such a large amount, replaced by real beer sales.

Great to hear! Maybe there’s hope for Americans yet :slight_smile:


If you have the opportunity, go local:

for example: The food co-op in my neighborhood sells awesome granola made just up the road, a second small, local artisanal outfit makes a good one too.

And the many micro brewers in Ann Arbor sell by the growler–one refillable bottle for the ages.


Great minds think alike! Cheers, Jim Hightower!
I sadly had to give up drinking what had become my favorite beer when my bartender pointed out that it was made with GMOs. While looking for a replacement, I called some of the local breweries and found GMO-free brew, simply by asking the brewers. (Most beer from the world-dominating AB InBev is made with GM sugar.) If one searches, even beer made with heirloom, organic hops is around. It’s worth doing the research, and the results are more than delicious.
But Jim, to be honest, I haven’t yet progressed to the point of having it with my oatmeal in the morning.

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A pint of really good oatmeal stout with your morning grains is a great way to start the day! :slight_smile:


No doubt true, my friend, but I wouldn’t expect to get much done after such a breakfast. Maybe a nap?

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You’ll get no dissent from me on that great idea — there’s a bottle of Founder’s Double-Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Breakfast Stout in my 'fridge just waiting for brunch about an hour from now!  Founder’s fine ales
are finally available – at least in limited quantities – out here in SoCal, although I haven’t yet seen any ‘Old Curmudgeon’ (named after me), so I guess I’ll have brew some more of my home-grown ‘GRAMPS Triple Chocolate Stout with Coffee & Capsaicin’.

See above, Steve — if you’re lucky, Founder’s Breakfast Stout is available in your local craft brew-store.

p.s. Speaking of Budweiser, I probably don’t have to remind someone as astute as yourself or Jim Hightower why A-B keeps so many Clydesdales . . .


When I started getting into “craft” beer in the 1990s, following some dabbling in homebrewing, it was about not just good beer, but keeping local, supporting small businesses, and with the demise of refilled deposit beer bottles, waste-free beer drinking, via drafts at the taproom and growlers at home.

And as an added benefit, “microbrewing” was a cottage industry full of colorful quirky characters - both the brewers (who you were on a first name basis with) and customers. Like my other pastimes, caving, hang gliding, and electric motor scooters, microbrews were distinctly unfashionable (in the Eastern US and Canada anyway- where the yuppies were still into Chardonnay and Brie) and I loved it for that.

But then the gentrifying Yuppies discovered it. They changed the name to “craft beer” and the layers of snobbishness and faddery that surround the increasingly outrageously prices product is now getting unbearable. The price is shooting up - in spite of huge supply and competition - because the brewpubs found out that the Yuppies only buy more of it the more expensive it gets (so much for the law of supply and demand). And one thing I learned - it is dreadfully gauche to ever bring up the high price of craft beer in conversation at a brewpub!

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In Oregon were spoiled by Jim’s measure. I had a wonderful Breakfast Coconut Stout this weekend, for brunch ( brunch means it’s after noon somewhere in America ).Feel free to imbibe, you’re not alone.
And, Budweiser or Miller: " life is too short to drink bad beer ".
Our local breakfast of champion servers, 60 brewers and growing, even includes some stuff called nutritional items, found on something called a food menu.Try brewery food, it’s really not bad.:wink:


2.65 + deposit for a 22 oz bottle is expensive? For 4.00 your start to get to the better half, and at $6-7 you’re in Europe, so to speak.

A good tip if you ever have to drink budweiser (not the original Czech version, that’s alright) is add some water to it to help give it some flavour.


Where I live, pints of draft (or 12 oz goblets for the stronger stuff) in the brewpubs are typically 7 to 8 dollars. Growler fills are $15 to $28. Pints of some of the standards like East End Big Hop or Bells Two Hearted Ale can be had for $5/$4 happy hour in the less fashionable clientele bars.

This is Pittsburgh, I don’t want to think about what craft beer costs in NYC. Weather permitting, I’m going to Toronto next week which is exploding with brewpubs. I’ll report back on the prices there - although at least I’m paying with cheap US dollar-bought loonies.

Yes, pub sitting is expensive. About the same as Pittsburgh but no Bells usually ( taps are very competitive ) here. My wholesale grocer, WinCo, has brought prices down on some of the once mighty breweries, though.
Breakfast Stouts are best enjoyed at home, imo. Just safer all the way around.

I have not had that one, but it sounds incredible! And your home-brew sounds great :slight_smile: Cheers!

True, they can get pricey, especially on tap. I admit to preferring the bottled store-bought variety myself, for economic reasons, and enjoying at home with a friend or three in pint glasses. Our local liquor store sells an insane variety of craft beers. Less expensive and safer :slight_smile:

Since we’re talking prices, and geography, I have to share one of my favorite seasonal offerings, Deschutes Brewing Jubelale, which I’ve stocked upon at Safeway, at $12.99 per twelve-pack of 12oz bottles.

Yunzer, with outrageous prices like that, you need to move west! Happy hour pints are $3.50 here in Corvallis (Oregon), where we have four local breweries.

And bloody good luck in Toronto, where everything is ridiculously expensive, especially beer.

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Now I’m intrigued. With two kinds of chocolate and coffee, it does sort of sound like a great way to start your day.

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Here in Pennsylvania, six packs and the like cannot be bought in normal grocery or convenience stores - you buy them in bars, some pizza places, some “bottle shops”, and café section of a limited number of Giant Eagle supermarkets. The law is that beer by less than the case (which is bought in what are called “beer distributor stores”) must be sold only in a place that also serve beer on-premises.

A lot of newcomers freak out and complain about these rules - but they are why we have such a lively working-class tavern culture here - there are probably 40 times more bars than convenience stores and supermarkets combined in Pittsburgh, so no, it is not hard get a six pack of beer.

But yes, even six packs of local craft beer are a minimum of $12 a six pack. And remember, the idea is for the beer to be local, and not in a container that goes to the landfill like glass bottles (even with that deposit that Oregon has) do. The increasing usage of (almost always recycled) aluminum cans by craft breweries is an improvement in this respect, but growlers are still the best.

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I’m sure no East End Beer either.

Oh, and Porlanders probably don’t know this, but Fat Heads is from Pittsburgh.