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Brunch brew

Skip the mimosas and bloody marys and opt for a local craft beer to wash down your brunch.

Vintage 423, in collaboration with La Cumbre Brewing Co., created its first special beer brunch menu available on Saturday July 28, and Sunday, July 29.

A La Cumbre Brewing Co. beer brunch at Vintage 423 will feature special menu items including BEER-infused chicken and waffles with BEER infused country gravy and maple syrup paired with La Cumbre’s BEER. (SOURCE: La Cumbre Brewing Co.)

“I feel their beers have gained a lot of popularity over the years,” Vintage 423 executive chef J. Martin Torrez said of La Cumbre. “I wanted to have something different like a beer brunch where we pair specialty beers with our amazing brunch items. These are special brunch items that aren’t regularly on the menu.”

On the light side, the menu offers cherry wood-smoked mahi-mahi served with avocado cilantro rice, grilled squash and zucchini with pink grapefruit salsa. Get Cherried Away, a Berliner Weisse kettle sour fermented with cherries, is the suggested pairing.

Pork lovers will love the cochinita pork pibil tacos served with borracho beans. The pork is slow-braised with anchiote spices and lots of citrus. The beans are cooked for several hours with bacon, beer and garlic.

“I’m a big fan of that style of (Mexican) cooking,” Torrez said. “I like the Oaxacan and the Yucatan style, and I’m a big pork eater, so I figured, why not pork pibil? … You get the borracho beans, and then on top you get the pickled pineapple and roasted habeneros. That’s just love right there.”

Sun Fade New England-style India Pale Ale is the suggested accompaniment for the cochinita pork pibil tacos.

“It’s a super-sessionable beer,” said Spencer Aragon, distribution manager for La Cumbre Brewing Co. “It’s hazy, it’s juicy, not bitter. We dry- hop the crap out of it. There’s 4 pounds per barrel. The dry hop doesn’t add bitterness. You get this juicy essence of lemon peel, orange peel, pineapple and orange juicy characteristic.”

Torrez is infusing chicken and waffles as well as the accompanying country gravy with La Cumbre’s American-style lager, BEER.

“We use corn as it is in the lagering process for more sweetness without adding the heaviness of a malty, sugary beer,” Aragon said of BEER. “It’s super-clean, easy to drink and not overly sweet.”

One of La Cumbre’s most popular IPAs, Elevated, is suggested for the carne adovada huevos rancheros, served over a flour tortilla. Patrons get their choice of egg style as well as housemade red or green chile. The course also comes with borracho beans and hash browns.

“(Elevated) has a huge aroma, lots of tangerine, orange, scents of grapefruit, scents of grapefruit peel,” Aragon said. “… It has a bitterness that’s balanced out by a great maltiness. … So you get sweet bready malts that float across the tongue as you’re drinking it. It’s not overly carbonated. Its a killer beer.”

On the sweeter side is the Froot Loops-encrusted beignets served with sunny side up eggs, apple wood-smoked bacon and red chile raspberry syrup. A Slice of Hefen is the recommended beer pairing.

“The aroma is huge on this beer,” Aragon said. “There’s banana, clove, vanilla, big flavors. The body is super-rich and creamy. This beer is more carbonated then the rest of our beers. It finishes really dry with the clove, and it’s super-refreshing. It’s hard to find a better example of a Bavarian (beer) in this state.”

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