2625 Main St
Dallas, TX 75226
Before setting out on the long road back to Houston, brunch was in order. And brunch on beautiful spring days calls for a patio. And since you’re reading this here, a pint wouldn’t hurt either. We were trying to push the whole affair as close to noon as possible to ensure a certain toddler would nap part of the way home, so a chance to perambulate the Deep Ellum Art Festival afterwards sealed the deal for Braindead Brewing.
I knew they were well known for brunch, and on this particular Sunday they were rolling out a solid buffet of huge, fluffy pancakes, eggs, bacon, a bird’s nest of hash browns, biscuits and gravy – the works. But what had really set our mouths watering was our waiter’s promise of what can only be described as the pinnacle of culinary achievement: a bacon flight. A flight. Of bacon. Four different slices, each paired with a beer from the Braindead menu, which includes both their own brews and guest taps from around the country.
From left to right, we were delivered a board featuring chicken-fried beef bacon, regular beef bacon, lamb bacon, and duck bacon. Not to mention the standard pork bacon that came with our brunch. First up, the CFBB, paired with a wallop of a Double IPA, Sit Down or I’ll Sit You Down from Dallas’ own Peticolas Brewing, only about 4 miles away. The sharp bitterness of the DIPA really cut through the fattiness of the bacon and the lily-gilding chicken-fry. Next up was the same beef bacon without the CF treatment, paired with Braindead’s Foreign Export Stout. Light-bodied as you’d expect from a Guinness descendant, the subtle sweetness paired deftly with the savory bacon. Third was the lamb bacon, smaller, and a bit gamier than pork or beef, a deeper flavor, as you’d expect from lamb, but that signature earthiness was set off by a crisp and floral Kirsch Gose from Victory, with its tart effervescence and bright cherries. The anchor of this bacon relay was the duck bacon, which came through with a Phelpsian finish. Much less fat than pig bacon, yet so much more flavor than those dried-out assaults on the name “bacon,” like turkey. I’ve always said a good Belgian would be one of my desert island beers – part of this complete breakfast – and Victory’s Golden Monkey was the perfect prom date for the duck.
Sometimes flights and pairings are nothing more than a gimmick, with no discernible care or strategy employed. But I had to hand it to Braindead, each of these bacon flight pairings really showed some thought. Our waiter regaled us with tales of many late Saturday nights, lingering staff assaying beer options for tomorrow’s bacon. Their deliberation was apparent.
It seems that just as I stopped by Braindead Brewing in Dallas, it’s now available in Houston. The very same Foreign Export Stout paired with the beef bacon showed up on the board at the Petrol Station back home. Glad both to have tried them on their own turf and to welcome them to Houston.