10 Best Burgers and Beers for Brunch

Red Cow, dedicated to fine burgers (and beer), is a good place to start the day.

Red Cow, dedicated to fine burgers (and beer), is a good place to start the day.

Social norms be damned. With life as short as they say it is, screw having dessert first. Have a burger and a beer, and have it for breakfast because dinner is not guaranteed.

See also: Top 10 Bloody Marys in the Twin Cities

10. Barbette: Royale with Cheese and a Belgian

To sit in a brasserie and have your beer and your burger is probably the most civilized way to do it. The Royale with Cheese is a Landon Schoenefeld creation from when he was chef, slapping a burger on the brunch menu before such things were done. It stuck.

Grass-fed beef, caramelized onions, brie, and field greens are practically healthy. Well, not at all, but a beer for breakfast in Belgium is practically a birthright, and they've got a serious list of them, so bottoms up.

9. Victor's on Water: Limosin Burger and a Moretti Lager

The Wise Acre Royale with bacon and brie is all-local, so pair it with a local brewski.

The Wise Acre Royale with bacon and brie is all-local, so pair it with a local brewski.

It will be difficult to look past inspired brunch creations here, like a polenta Benedict with eggplant caponata, but it is beef you came for and so you shall have it.

Peterson Limousin Beef is a local, family-owned operation producing an all-natural product from "Limousin cattle," known for their natural muscle-yield and deep savory flavor. Chef Phillip Becht naturally fixes it up Italian-style with Fontina, tomato jam, greens, and a side of roasted potatoes in place of fries. Pair it with bottle of Moretti, a hoppy Italian lager.

8. Haute Dish: Morning Burger and a Founders Centennial Ale

It's almost too easy to mention Haute Dish in a list like this one -- their special attention to Midwestern regional cuisine has a keen eye on what we like, and we like burgers. The Morning Burger naturally gets a sunny-side-up egg, but also a swipe of bacon jam on an English Muffin. Pair it with a Founders Centennial Ale for easygoing hops. It's still morning, you know.

7. Wise Acre: Royale Brie and Bacon Burger and a Fulton Sweet Child of Vine

Like much of what's on offer at Wise Acre, the beef is raised on their own Tangletown Gardens farm, from their own Scottish Highland Cattle. The patty is a third of a pound, and served on a buttery brioche bun with bacon (also raised on the farm). Have it with a Fulton Sweet Child of Vine to keep things local, and for its likable balance of malt and hops.

6. Red Cow: Breakfast Burger and a Schell's Dawn of Aurora

The restaurant dedicated to "fine burgers" is wise to list not one, but eight at breakfast, from "The Ultimate" (Angus beef, cheddar, iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, and special sauce) to a standard patty melt. But go with the flow and have the Breakfast Burger with more of that Angus beef, peanut butter, an over-easy egg, bacon, and cheddar on sourdough. Pair it with a super-fruity Berliner sour, Schell's Dawn of Aurora, evoking not only the time of day, but also the spirit of doing something new -- you're in a burger joint for breakfast, after all. [page] 5. The Third Bird: Bison Burger and a Rodenbach Grand Cru

The latest in the Kim Bartmann empire is designed to be a comfy neighborhood hang for Loring Park, minus the same old stuff you'd expect. Chef Lucas Almendinger pushes the menu into more challenging territory, not letting things slip into tired cliches. He swaps out beef for bison on his brunch burger, cornichon for regular old pickles, and 1,000 Island dressing for mayo. A house-made milk bun is the base, and to further challenge your palate, try a Rodenbach Grand Cru, a red ale that pours ruby with hints of wine.

4. Tongue in Cheek: Fried Egg Grass Fed Cheeseburger and a Classic Clam Chelada Beer

The best thing to happen to St. Paul's East Side since The Strip Club, Tongue in Cheek is the best dressed girl at the casual party. The brunch burger is as classic as a little black dress: grass-fed beef, cheddar, pickles, arugula, and aioli. A fried egg makes it legit for brek, along with a Chelada, which is what happens when you pour the snit right into the bloody mix: Pacifico blended with tomato, clam juice, celery salt, and pepper.

3. Icehouse: Breakfast Burger, a Bloody Homer, and Buy the Kitchen a 6-Pack for 5 bucks

The breakfast burger here is straightforward: It's got the sunny side egg, the maple glazed bacon, the cheddar. But it's the bloody Mary that's worth traveling for. The Simpsons-inspired Bloody Homer, infused with bacon and garnished with a mini-donut. You should be feeling grateful after all this bounty, so buy the kitchen a six-pack for five bucks, and snag one for yourself before it goes.

2. Victory 44: The Perfect Burger and a Surly

No sane chef would throw down the gauntlet in this town by naming his burger "perfect" if he didn't have the stuff to back it up. Erick Harcey begins by blending pork belly right into the patty, and we know we really don't even have to go on after you read that sentence. But then he piles on a family-secret recipe layer of icebox pickles, more bacon, classic American cheese, and a blend of dijon and mayo all on a Patisserie 46 (the perfect bakery) bun. Have it with a Surly, arguably the perfect beer.

Red Cow knows there's only one thing to up the ante on a breakfast burger, and it ain't coffee.

Red Cow knows there's only one thing to up the ante on a breakfast burger, and it ain't coffee.

1. Muddy Waters: Breakfast Burger and a Miller Lite

Perhaps our favorite on this list does away with beef. Not to fear. The patty is instead made of breakfast sausage, and then topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheddar ,and Hollandaise. [Insert whatever heart attack joke you like here] all served on an English Muffin. A light beer should be a no-brainer.

*Disclaimer: please remember that restaurant beer selections change often. If you are especially dedicated to one of these pairings, please call ahead. Now, off with you to breakfast like kings.

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