Everyone knows the best way to soothe a hangover is to drink the blood of joyless smuggos who say things like “The only way to cure a hangover is to avoid excessive drinking in the first place.” That’s not always practical, though, which is why we’re lucky that a moderate amount of next-day alcohol is almost as effective — if only in the short term.
This is why we must defend the brunch movement despite its considerable flaws. It’s true that the demand for credible hollandaise has so far exceeded the supply, and the “If you put a fried egg on top, any combination of leftovers is worth $16” trend is getting out of control — that’s not “Tuscan-inspired breakfast hash,” pal; that’s yesterday’s spaghetti wearing a 20-cent hat — but brunch is to be forever praised for legitimizing day-drinking.
Coffee stouts are the natural choice for beer drinkers who refuse to get sucked into the overwrought Bloody Mary lifestyle, but I also recommend The Hairy Eyeball, a 9.4-percent alcohol-by-volume American strong ale that Lagunitas describes as “roasty, toasty, malty and hangover-halting.”
The Hairy Eyeball opens with medium-dark chocolate and coffee flavors, and turns sweeter with time as licorice, vanilla and cinnamon notes emerge. Lagunitas is famous for brewing beers with a dank, earthy hop profile, but this winter seasonal is primarily a malt showcase, with just a bit of bitter pine on the end. It’s simultaneously approachable and assertive, and it pairs perfectly with waffles, water and ibuprofen.
Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, $6 per 22-ounce bottle.