By Julia Burke, Beer Editor
There's something about starting a day with a great beer that perfectly combines laziness and sophistication. Last Saturday I had planned an epic beer bar bike tour of Buffalo and I wanted a breakfast of champions that would get me stoked for a day of biking but also prep my palate for a marathon of beer consumption.
I've already written about my obsession with beer waffles; now I think I've hit on one of the great pajama libations to pair. The hazy yellowish-gold sunrise color and pillowy white head of this unique Southampton Publick House bottle begs for a relaxing, sunny Sunday morning in bed.
Cuvee des Fleurs is exactly what it sounds like: a blend of flowers. It's flavored with lavender, chamomile, calendula, rose hips, and, as the label cheekily describes, "generous amounts of h. lupulus" (hops).
Why doesn't it reek of cheap perfume with a pungence typically reserved for middle aged ladies' book clubs? The key is restraint, freshness and delicacy: it's fragrant, but like something you'd toss into a garden salad, not like country club bathroom potpourri.
A complex yeast profile balances with a slight sour tang for a terrific mouthfeel that is creamy and multidimensional but so crisp it goes with a meal like orange juice with brunch. Rose petal notes and chamomile are most apparent, but the lavender is there in a waxy violet sheen, and the hops are assertive throughout.
The burst of flavor on sipping is simply beautiful and contains no greenness or cloying levels of herbaceousness.
It's incredibly interesting; there's so much going on that to the post-noon drinker it might seem too "busy" for early-morning drinking, but for beer geeks who want to pay attention to their breakfast beverage, it's fantastic. I highly recommend pairing with pancakes, waffles, or French toast with fruit and cream cheese or whipped cream. It would also be outstanding with a cheese and fruit pastry. Or a croque-monsieur. Or a crepe. I could go on. Just make sure to eat something, because for all its luscious ease of sippage, this baby is over 8% ABV, so you'll want some serious carbs in your system.