When was beer served for breakfast?

Eggs, Toast and Pints: The Evolution of Beer at Breakfast

Pouring a beer with your morning Cheerios would be met with judgemental eyes. However, while it may seem outlandish now, beer has historically graced breakfast tables and, in some countries, continues to do so. The question isn’t why, but when was beer served for breakfast? Historically, morning beer was a daily ritual in ancient societies like Egypt and medieval Europe, often safer than potentially contaminated water. Diving into the past offers a fascinating perspective on our evolving dietary habits. As we embark on this historical journey, we’ll unearth the tales behind this morning brew and discover why it was the ideal way to start the day.

The Golden Era: Discovering the Times When Morning Pints Were the Norm

Our dietary habits have a fascinating and varied history. Reflecting on when beer was served with breakfast, we are transported on a journey through time. In ancient Egypt, beer wasn’t just a recreational drink but vital sustenance. With many water sources tainted, this brew, with its lower alcohol content and inherent brewing process, provided a safer, hydrating alternative. In fact, when beer was served for breakfast, it was alongside bread, fuelling the very workers (or aliens) who constructed the iconic pyramids.

Medieval Europe also embraced this trend. Both peasants and nobility started their day with a light ale, not necessarily for the buzz but for nutrition. These beers, markedly different from our contemporary pints, were thick, often resembling porridge, and packed with essential calories. Essentially, beer was the morning’s liquid bread.

Yet, as societies transitioned into the modern era, perspectives and norms began to evolve. The Industrial Revolution gradually shifted the trend with its structured work hours and emphasis on punctuality and sobriety. The days when beer was served for breakfast began to wane. As coffee and tea emerged as morning favourites, the morning pint declined. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, beer had mostly vanished from breakfast tables in most parts of the world.

However, the tradition of a morning beer isn’t just a historical footnote. In certain parts of Germany, like Bavaria, it’s still common to witness locals indulging in a “Weißwurstfrühstück,” a traditional Bavarian breakfast paired with a Weißbier (wheat beer). Belgium also has regions where lighter ales are cherished during breakfast on special occasions. Some African communities also hold onto their traditional beers, crafted from sorghum or millet, enjoying them during cultural ceremonies or gatherings in the mornings. While it’s not a global practice today, these regional customs signify the resilience of age-old traditions and beer’s lasting cultural significance.

So, should you fancy a beer with your breakfast, there is no harm in going full Bavarian. In the next section, we’ll explore how modern craft brewing is reviving the essence of breakfast within its beers. If you’ve ever wondered about beers that taste like your favourite morning treats, you’re in for a delectable journey.

Breakfast in a Glass: Embracing the Charm of Breakfast-Style Beers

We are constantly treated to various flavours and styles in the craft beer world. Among these, the breakfast-style beer stands out, sparking curiosity and delight in equal measure. So, what exactly is a breakfast-style beer?

Diving into this intriguing category, a breakfast-style beer is essentially breakfast translated into a brew. These aren’t beers you’d necessarily drink in the morning, but ones that capture the essence of breakfast. They weave in flavours reminiscent of the most cherished morning dishes, resulting in brews that dazzle the palate.

When it comes to breakfast-style beers, imagine taking a sip and tasting the robust notes of freshly brewed coffee, or perhaps the sweetness of maple syrup drizzled over pancakes. These beers often fall into the stouts and porters category, rich and dark, echoing the heartiness of a full English breakfast. Roasted malts combined with ingredients like oats, chocolate, or even smoky bacon create layers of depth and complexity. They paint a picture of a lazy Sunday morning, breakfast tables laden with food and a wonderful feeling of contentment.

But why the surge in their popularity? It’s all about the craft beer revolution’s spirit. Brewers are no longer bound by rigid traditions; they’re free to experiment, play with flavours and craft stories in a glass. The breakfast-style beer is a testament to this, a blend of nostalgia and craftsmanship.

Now that you’ve tasted what breakfast-style beers are about, you might be wondering which ones to try. As we head into our next section, we’ll guide you through a selection that might have you setting your alarm early, not for breakfast, but for a unique beer-tasting journey.

Top Morning Brews: Discovering the Best Beer for Breakfast

What is the best beer for breakfast?
What is the best beer for breakfast?

Selecting the perfect pint is always a delightful conundrum, especially when aiming for a breakfast-inspired beer. The idea of the best beer for breakfast might conjure images of you sipping beer with your morning eggs, but let’s redirect that thought. It’s about evoking breakfast sensations, the memories of those first meals of the day, and channelling them into your beer choice.

  1. Coffee Stouts: What better way to begin than with the beverage that rouses many from sleep? Founders Breakfast Stout is renowned for its rich coffee notes intertwined with hints of chocolate and oatmeal. It’s an excellent choice for anyone yearning for a morning coffee ritual in their beer.
  2. Oatmeal Porters: For a velvety and hearty brew, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout stands out. Its creamy consistency, coupled with gentle sweet undertones, is reminiscent of a warm bowl of oatmeal, perfect for frosty mornings.
  3. Fruit-infused Ales: For those who appreciate lighter, fruitier breakfasts, Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale is a delightful choice. With its citrusy zest and subtle saltiness, it refreshingly captures a summer morning’s vibe.
  4. Maple Bacon Ales: Daring palates might want to venture into the Funky Buddha Brewery’s Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. This beer intricately balances the sweetness of maple syrup with the savoury touch of smoky bacon, offering an experience akin to a full English breakfast in a bottle.

While these beers sound enticing, always remember moderation is key. They’re more about capturing the flavour profiles of breakfast rather than replacing your morning coffee or tea.


Throughout history, beer has been a beloved morning beverage, enjoyed by everyone from the builders of Egypt’s great monuments to the people of medieval Europe. While it’s rare to start the day with a beer these days, the craft beer movement has found a way to capture the essence of breakfast flavours in their brews. From coffee stouts to maple bacon ales, these modern twists on traditional morning flavours highlight beer’s timeless appeal and important role in our culinary journey. Whether enjoyed for sustenance or pleasure, beer stands as a testament to human ingenuity and our desire to honour cherished traditions.

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