Breakfast Of Champions

Brewery and Country of Origin: Founders Brewing Company of 235 Grandville Avenue Southwest, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503, USA

Date Reviewed: 12-28-12

In a way, a beer named "Breakfast Stout" is a bit more appropriate than you might imagine. As you already know, beer, especially traditional stouts, is made up of simple ingredients, with a sort of cereal grain being one of the usual four. And unless you have a condition that prohibits you to consume gluten, that fourth ingredient (aside from hops, yeast, and water) usually comes in the form of malt barley. Some beers use wheats as well. Interestingly, these basic, unfermented, dried, and grained cereals make up what goes into breakfast cereal as well as other breakfast foods. Of course, you're not going to get drunk from any of these grains unless you have live yeast in your GI tract and the food is left there long enough for fermentation to take place. Not a pleasant thought, and probably quite poisonous anyway. Besides, there are easier ways to consume alcohol. Funny enough though, big stouts are usually brews people refer to as a "meal in a can." And while this common misconception may no apply to lighter, drier stouts like Guinness, it certainly makes its relevance clear in this case. This is a big beer which, served in larger quantities on tap, will not only fill you like a hearty breakfast, it will provide you with the energy as well (albeit in the form of alcohol energy, the most ineffective form of usable bio-energy). We'd probably suggest that you don't replace a short stack, two eggs, and a grapefruit with a tall one of these, or any other alcoholic drink for that matter. That said, on those later brunch like mornings, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good beer with a good breakfast. Moderation, people. Anyway to be honest, we're not really sure why this is called the Breakfast Stout, but what we do know is that it's a great stout for breakfast (with nachos at a Mexican restaurant in Boston). Oh, and we wouldn't recommend nachos for breakfast either. But hey, it's your life, do what you want with it.
Date Sampled: 12-15-12 At: Sunset Cantina, 916 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, USA
Beer Style: American Double/Imperial Stout
Alcohol by Volume: 8.30%
Serving Type: Keg, 23 oz Weizen Glass
Rating: 4.04


The Breakfast Stout has a clear, filtered appearance which shows a small amount of shine only when held up to pretty intense light. Otherwise, this is a nearly opaque beer due to this beer's very dark brown color. This pours smoothly with a half inch dense foam head caused by a moderate amount of carbonation action. The foam head has a good level of retention and the brew shows moderately full lacing.


This brew features a strong malt oriented aroma full of chocolate and coffee notes with a bit of roast/toast and some overall sweetness. A good amount of nuttiness and some bitter character is noticeable, yet only a very small amount of hops is present, and despite a moderately high ABV, there is no alcohol in the aroma.


This is a full bodied beer with a matching weight and a relatively high viscosity. This is a sipping beer, as most people will find its solid presence hard to drink quickly or easily. Overall, this beer's lower level of carbonation and a slightly dull finish give it a smooth feel. An alcohol induced trailing warming effect is definitely strong, which may add to its value during the winter season.


Breakfast Stout's flavor is, as expected, dominated with malty flavors including dark chocolate and coffee. There is a good amount of associated sweetness, as is normal, as well as a bitter, slightly dry finish in a somewhat dull and lingering finish. The aftertaste incorporates both malty and slightly balancing bitter hoppy flavors. This beer's higher alcoholic content gives off a noticeable tinge in the flavor.

Our Take

As you would imagine, this beer isn't for everyone. This is a big, heavy, viscous, strong, bold, slightly overpowering, intimidating beer named for a meal, and not everyone is going to go for that. But, for those of you who are big imperial fans out there, this is an absolutely excellent beer. Full of pronounced flavors and a memorable aromatic experience, this double beer is meant as a stand alone or with a dessert. And unless you're really into drinking all day, you probably don't want to start off drinking with this one, much less when you eat breakfast. This beer will fill you up, and it's important to keep that in mind when pairing it with a meal or planning a night out. From draught, this is an honest treat which sweeter malty beer fanatics will probably go crazy over. This beer delivers a refined profile, complete with an appropriately bitter finish, and a good amount of lingering. If you are more into lighter beers, or more bitter, crisp, or grainy beers, turn back now. Otherwise, you may be on the fence with this one. If that's the case, try getting a smaller serving first. Turns out you may find your new favorite imperial.