Posted by: Scott | January 18, 2010

Beer for Breakfast

No, I’m not talking about that kind of beer for breakfast — i.e., “bro, check out this hangover fix: when the sun comes up, JUST KEEP DRINKING.” Sound advice, but today’s topic advocates responsible drinking all day long; beer can elegantly accompany any meal, even breakfast.

You see, many Americans employ beer as a beverage of the night. We skulk home after work, deadbolt the door, secure the shutters, and pop open a can or bottle of beer. Why do we sneak about in the shadows, enjoying our brews behind bolted doors? Some will point fingers at Puritanism, but our cultural dipsophobia runs deeper than that. Many of America’s settlers were Puritans, and they drank more beer than we do now — in their European homelands, ale was often safer than water, and some believed beer had healing properties. Should we instead blame our over-hectic work schedules, which become more and more crowded as wages refuse to increase proportionally to the cost of living? I have no answers to such questions. Back to beer.

Per capita, Americans drain fewer bottles by far than many of our European counterparts, possibly because those countries’ denizens drink in the daytime. According to The German Way, beer is such an important part of German life that “the right to drink beer is even written into some labor contracts.” Another site, which explains the etiquette behind German business lunches, insists that drinking isn’t required, even if everyone else orders ale with their midday meal. You read that correctly: They administer peer pressure warnings to visiting businessmen.

In short, God won’t zap your dome for drinking while the sun shines. With that hurdle bypassed, I’ll explain how to avoid reproachful glances from earthly friends, family, neighbors and pets when you crack open a cold one alongside your scrambled eggs. First, relegate morning and noon beer sessions to holidays and other special occasions. When you do break out the booze, limit your consumption to a half-pint (or two at most) — this is generally a good idea if you wish to remain among the non-hobos.

Here’s the fun part! Which beer should you pick for breakfast? For a heavier meal with pan-fried foods, a dark beer such as a porter or stout will complement the cuisine. Many of these, such as Kona’s Pipeline Porter, Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout, and Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast, possess pronounced coffee flavors that seem tailor-made for a morning meal. If you’re eating something lighter such as bread, cheese, or fruit, go with the bright, sweet flavors of a wheat beer or lambic. Once you become familiar with the styles, experiment with pairings of your own!

There’s nothing wrong with craving a brew in the morning. Just drink responsibly, and clad your will in iron so it can withstand the looks of bewilderment and scorn.

Thursday: A review of a very expensive beer. Was it worth the price?

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Responses

  1. this is a tough battle to fight. i convince myself not to drink in the morning, even on weekends, all the damn time.

    • Haha, it’s easy to do. In America at least, we’re taught that drinking in the morning indicates that something is, um … awry. It’s odd to think that taking a stand to have a beer with an early meal could actually be a risky venture, something that must be fought for and earned rather than an act of weakness.

  2. I don’t mind a good beer with lunch, but I admit that I am hesitant to try it with breakfast…something about always wanting to start the day off right…perhaps the next time I cook a large weekend-type scramble or something I’ll have a good ale with it. I don’t know, though. I’ll probably have to leave the blinds down.

    • I can understand your hesitance to start the day off inebriated; that’s why I suggested going with a half pint. Eight ounces should barely leave a dent in your sobriety. And the rest of the bottle, if stored properly, will keep decently till evening. For the record, though, even I do this only occasionally! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  3. If I had 2 pints for breakfast you would have to put me back to bed.

    • Two half pints! So one whole pint … I probably could have been clearer about that.

  4. I’ll cook breakfast for you guys on Sunday if you bring the beer! – (something to go with waffles and bacon)

    • Sounds good! I’ll give it some thought.

  5. on wednesday, i will be in a bar by 10:30, as my friends andy and mike and i have decided we must go back to pretending we are college students and spend the early morning/afternoon getting wasted.

    thanks, forced vacation day!


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