It was a sunny, hungover Saturday morning during Philly Beer Week, and all I craved was a fistful of aspirin and a bellyful of greasy eggs. “Let’s go to Johnny Brenda’s,” my equally alcohol-wrecked friend suggested. We ambled off to the rock ’n’ roll–flavored restaurant known for its comfort grub, taking seats in a dark corner booth. A waitress waltzed over, delivering much-needed water, and pointed to a chalkboard listing the daily specials. I settled on chilaquiles freighted with eggs and beans. My pal followed suit, also ordering a deep-fried whiskey donut.
The waitress caught our boozy drift. “Would you care for a stout to go with breakfast?” she asked brightly, pointing to the selection of dark brews on offer during the restaurant's annual stout brunch. Though spicy Bloody Marys are my preferred morning-after cure, I could not resist a pint of Sly Fox O’Reilly’s Stout. It was creamy and well carbonated, with comforting hints of coffee, chocolate and smoke. With each passing sip I felt my mood brightening, my eyes widen. Who knew beer for brunch could be such a brilliant idea?