The Bruery's Girl Grey

I am drinking a Girl Grey by The Bruery @thebruery as part of a "modified" full breakfast my kids cooked for me. Hoppy Father's Day!

I am in Rocky Hill, NJ, drinking Girl Grey by The Bruery. The Bruery is a Micro Brewery in Placentia, CA. Girl Grey beer style is Belgian Strong Golden Ale, with an ABV of 8.5% and IBU of 0. I gave Girl Grey a 3.75 on Untappd's 5 point rating system.

My kids cooked me up a “modified” full English breakfast. What is a full breakfast?

A full breakfast is a breakfast meal that typically includes bacon, sausages, eggs and a beverage such as coffee or tea. It comes in different regional variants and is referred to by different names depending on the area; however, it is colloquially known as a “fry up” in all areas. It is usually referred to as a full English breakfast in England (often shortened to "full English"), and therefore, as a "full Irish", "full Scottish", "full Welsh", “full Cornish”, and the "Ulster fry" in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Northern Ireland, respectively. It is especially popular in Britain and Ireland to such an extent that many cafés and pubs offer the meal at any time of day as an "all-day breakfast". It is also popular in other English-speaking countries, particularly countries that were a part of the British Empire. On its origin, Country Life magazine states, "The idea of the English breakfast as a national dish goes right back to the 13th century and the country houses of the gentry. In the old Anglo-Saxon tradition of hospitality, households would provide hearty breakfasts for visiting friends, relatives and neighbours."Wikipedia

My kids cooked Heinz baked beans, fried polish blood sausage, breakfast sausage, baked tomato, whole grain toast, sauteed baby Bella mushrooms, fried egg, and thick cut bacon. Whole grain toast instead of white bread toast. And instead of Earl Grey Tea, I’m washing it down with this “Girl Grey” IPA.

Hoppy Father's Day to all the Untappd Dad's.

bacon, Baked Beans, Black Pudding, Blood Sausage, breakfast, egg, Fty Up, Full Breakfast, Full English, full Irish, full Scottish, full Welsh, Girl Grey, grilled tomato, Heinz Baked Beans, IPA, Mushrooms, Pork Sausage, Scottish Caribbean, toast, Weisswurst

Brewer's notes

Top chef Brooke Williamson is a leader in redefining flavors and roles in the culinary world. We teamed with her to extend those contributions to the beer world with Girl Grey. This beer features the cool character of a Belgian-style ale, with sweet ribbons of almond flavors balanced by the piquant qualities of Earl Grey tea. It’s a creation for a new generation of beer lovers. Cheers!

We are a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, California specializing in experimental and barrel aged beer. Our name is a fusion of 'brewery' with our family name, Rue. Our calling is to create beers with character and depth using the simplest and purest of means. We strive to use unconventional ingredients, and we will proudly state what we put in our beers. We enjoy serving you, your friends and your family.

bacon, Baked Beans, Black Pudding, Blood Sausage, breakfast, egg, Fty Up, Full Breakfast, Full English, full Irish, full Scottish, full Welsh, Girl Grey, grilled tomato, Heinz Baked Beans, IPA, Mushrooms, Pork Sausage, Scottish Caribbean, toast, Weisswurst

Runny eggs, blood sausage and porridge

I'm Scottish! Yes, really. As Scottish as any American who doesn't speak Scottish Gaelic has no close family in Scotland and can't tell you where Hibredres Island are.

My mother's family can trace its roots back to the coasts of Scotland and France. According to my mother, my great-grandfather Francis McLaren, from whom I received my middle name, was a bag-pipe-playing Scot who wore a kilt. I guess it's no coincidence that my mother's family settled in the hilly areas of the Grenadines. A DNA test shows I am 43.9% Western European — mainly British (Scottish, Irish and Welsh), French, and Iberian. Yes, my family tree twists and turns in directions that my physical appearance won't reveal.

While my grandfather's family is primarily French, my grandmother's family is Scottish with some "native" American. I feel that when US Americans think about the phrase Native American, they think only of North America, but I'm being more inclusive here. My great-grandfather married her and begat (I'm getting all biblical ) a daughter who married my grandfather. They begat my mother, who married my predominantly African father (who has a bit of Dutch ) and begat me.

Holly’s Whole Grain Oatmeal
Holly’s Whole Grain Oatmeal

But this blog post isn't about genealogy. It's about breakfast, a Full Scottish or Full English breakfast. While researching my ancestry, I learned much about Scotland, especially Scottish breakfast. I spent a bit of time with my maternal grandparents when I was a child. My grandmother always insisted on eating a hearty breakfast, perhaps because of her heritage. For my grandmother, breakfast was fried fish, fried ",fungi", fresh-baked bread with a slathering of salted butter, and a large enamel mug of hot cocoa1 or café au lait2.

Full Irish Breakfast
Full Irish Breakfast

Sometimes we had fried black pudding. What's black pudding? The ingredients sound revolting: pigs' blood, fat, oats, barley, and spices, all stuffed in a length of intestine. The island version will have rice instead of oats and barley. I loved black pudding growing up. Sweet, crunchy and fried. Oh yeah!

Anyway, a few years ago, I felt nostalgic for the homeland and started to look for places that served black pudding. My search led me to The Blue Rooster in Cranbury, where I've had a Father's Day breakfast every year for the last three years. The Blue Rooster has a Full Irish Breakfast on the menu. Full is a word used to convey completeness, but a Full Irish Breakfast also makes the diner feel full. The Rooster's version is black pudding, white pudding, sausage ( banger in the vernacular of the UK ), tomato, baked beans, ham, toast, sautéed mushrooms, and two eggs over easy. Wow!

Full Irish Breakfast

It's a hearty breakfast, but since I limit myself to the once-a-year trip for Father's Day, I'm not worried. Much!

According to my research a Full Scottish Breakfast is:

  • Half a tomato, broiled with cheese on top
  • A rasher of bacon, which in the UK is more like thinly sliced ham
  • Potato, or tattie, scone (rhymes with gone)
  • Link sausage or banger
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Baked beans (yes, for breakfast)
  • One egg, fixed any way you like
  • Black pudding (which is anything but a dark chocolate dessert)
  • A bowl of porridge (oatmeal)
  • Toast

For lunch today3 I added some elements of a full Scottish breakfast (scones and oatmeal) to the Rooster's Full Irish Breakfast. I didn't have access to a tattie, so I settled for an American scone.

Scones with butter
Scones with butter

According to my research, porridge is different from the oatmeal eaten in the USA:

Scottish oatmeal is smoother than your typical Quaker Oats. Start with a pat of butter and a splash of milk, then toss in some golden currants (like raisins, but not) and a generous spoonful of light brown Demerara sugar, and you're ready to begin the day the way Scots have for centuries.

I settled for a tiny cup of Holly's Whole Grain Oatmeal from the menu. When I explained what I was trying to do to our server, she served my oatmeal with brown sugar and blueberries on the side. I added a scone and was ready for my adventure.

Brown sugar and blue berries.
Brown sugar and blue berries.

I took a swig from my mug of French Press coffee and dug in. Slowly but surely, I ate everything on my plate, just like my grandmother had taught me. As I said before, by "full", the Scots mean "complete," but full is what I felt when you finished the last bite of that scone. After completing the meal, I was sure I no longer wanted dinner. I wanted two Lipitor and a nap. I skipped the Lipitor4 but around 2 PM I dozed off watching the kids play on the Nintendo. I can't wait for next Father's Day.

  1. Not to be confused with that disgusting sweet shit Americans call hot chocolate. Yuck! 
  2. My grandmother always used hot milk and brewed her coffee on the stove. Strong stuff. 
  3. We've had some problems scheduling Father's Day breakfast this year. 
  4. I have high cholesterol but take my Lipitor in the morning with breakfast.