A lone Redding Beer Week Passport sat in the condiment tray blocked by bottles of malt vinegar, ketchup, and mustard and a beer week banner was hung from the front window. These were the only signs Shameless O’Leery’s had any connection with Redding Beer Week at all. A stack of fliers describing the special brunch offerings, and which Fall River beer they were created with, sat idly on the counter under the daily specials sign. Sadly, the closest the fliers came to being passed out was when they were inadvertently knocked off the counter by a staff member, after which they were collected and placed back in their previous lonely position. Our waitress seemed unaware of any specials, did not bother to offer them, failed to suggest any pairings, and seemed unaware the “Beer Brunch” was even happening.
Lack of promotion aside, the restaurant was full and lively and is a nice spot to grab a tasty local brew before noon. Four Fall River offerings were on tap including the NorCal Blonde (crisp, smooth, light), Pacific Crest Pale Ale, Pittville Porter (dark, chocolaty, nice mouth feel), and the Hexeginia IPA. The brunch offerings were short on options, but big on flavor. The Pittville Porter Pancakes with herb-infused maple syrup (rosemary and thyme) and potatoes were a carb overload of deliciousness. The herbs in the maple added a nice spin on traditional pancakes and the porter flavor was subtle, but detectable. They were dark in color and had a sort of chocolaty finish from the porter. The deep fried potatoes provided a nice salty juxtaposition to the sweet cakes and the dish was very reasonable at $8.00.
The bacon and green onion quiche with white cheddar and Fall River NorCal Blonde was flavorful, but the beer was lost amongst the flavorful fare. Sorry NorCal Blonde, you’re tasty, but sometimes life throws bacon, onion and cheddar your way. The quiche was small, but spot on, and paired well with a pint of Fall River NorCal Blonde. This combination is by far the best method of sipping a pint of an easy-drinking, local brew, if you plan to do so before noon. The quiche also cost $8.00.
The “Beer Bruch” specials were offered along side the regular Shameless O’Leery’s brunch menu. The regular menu had some nice options including a different spin on the classic eggs benedict, which came with corned beef instead of ham or bacon.
In the end, I felt disappointed, not by the food or the beer, but by the lack of beer week promotion. Since the events list emerged, I was looking forward to attending the “Beer Brunch” and had high hopes for the culinary potential. There was no Fall River staff on hand, no pairing suggestions, and the morning meal really just seemed like brunch as usual. In the future, I would hope for a Redding Beer Week Beer Brunch with a few more beer inspired options and an atmosphere centered around, well, the beer, and the brunch pairing theme, with a staff who seems to know there is an event going on at all.