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Beer for Breakfast .. ?

I have been dealing with some customers from Europe , Amersterdam etc... In thier mid to late 20s and for most part Americanized from business. Although, they all seem to want have a drink with breakfast , (also lunch and dinner). I really mean one drink, not to be confused with getting intoxicated.

Is this a culutre difference to have a beer for breakfast with eggs etc. They seem to be higly upset that local places will not accomodate them in the morning? ... Not the mention the places that will are usually business NOT approp.

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  1. Hefeweizen is considered a breakfast beer in Germany.

    Europeans know how to live. Our Puritanical views are quite silly by comparison.

    1. Agree with Josh. Whats that Doors song again...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Insidious Rex

        Roadhouse Blues. :-)

        Probably the best sing-along line for a boozed-up crowd since Mustang Sally's "ride, Sally, ride".

      2. I've heard stories going back twenty years that bars in Amsterdam are packed in the morning before work. I don't know if I believe that though. What I have witnessed abroad as I'm sure many of us have is wine and beer being made available for lunch at the workplace. I can also say that as an engineer I have worked at machine shops in Germany where men smoked cigars and drank beer on the machine floor at the equipment while working. You would not see that at a machine shop in the United States.

        1. I judged beer at 8:30 AM last Saturday. Does that count?

          1. I lived in Munich for a year, and Freiburg im Breisgau for a year. Never saw anyone drinking beer at breakfast. Late morning in Munich, you might see someone chasing a weisswurst with a beer, but that's really lunch, not breakfast.

            1. Burger & Brew, The Keg Brothers favorite breakfast! When on holiday, I often will have a drink w/ breakfast. Teaching 11th grade English; I start after school!

              1. Thanks for all the replys so far..For the most part European countries are a ton more laid back in culture and busines. I asked them and they concluded its more of a English or Scottish tradition to have a pint at breakfast. I have found nothign real concrete to support their claim...

                Either way ... Cheers!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Augie6

                  In the UK, particularly in the northern areas, kippers and beer is a well-known breakfast item.

                2. Referred to as cornflakes in a can.

                  1. Admittedly this was 20 years ago, but in my travels through Czechoslovakia, people in the rural areas of what is now eastern Slovakia definitely drank beer for breakfast - beer and sausage. I remember restaurants that would be stuffed with people standing around tall tables having that at 9 in the morning (though this was a farming area, so maybe that was a mid-morning snack!).

                    1. So how wide spread is this. Do say police officers, doctors and nurses, judges, operators at nuclear and chemical plants, air traffic controllers, school bus drivers across Europe also start their day with a pint?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Chinon00

                        The British Navy only "recently" stopped giving all sailors on board ships, their draught of (rum) grog, each morning.

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          Good for them that they stopped. And from what I know that was originally employed to attract more young men to the military.

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            It is a good question about who this all effects. In USA , immagine if a school bus driver or Doctor was having a beer before work, it would be headline news. I am sure this falls under a preference category over seas , rather than standard.

                            Also, there is a difference between having a pint and having 5 pints. I spoke to realitives that vacation abroad regularly about this topic. They pointed out that enjoying a beverage and getting drunk is too different situations

                        2. September, 1972 in Munich. I was there for the Olympics. Beer with breakfast was pretty common. I doubt things have changed.

                          W.C. Fields was a notorious boozer. He said, "Nothing stronger than beer before breakfast."

                          I'm OK with that.

                          1. Least we forget that in Medieval times beer wasnt brewed foremost as an intoxicant but primarily as a meal replacement and something people could safely drink when water wasnt safe at all. For that reason it was common to have beer AS breakfast but this beer was not some american craft beer monster but was instead a "weak ale" clocking in at maybe a tad above 2% alcohol or less. So people werent pounding them for a morning buzz. The Monks held this tradition as well and were allowed upwards of 5 liters of beer a day! Can you imagine the state of the abbey if that had been say a St. Bernadus 12?

                            On a related note, last I heard the Belgians (I guess the Flemish specifically) actually allow their children to have beer in school! In place of unhealthy soda the kiddies can have a small beer or "tafelbier" which generally clocks in at 2.5%. Not exactly high in alcohol by normal beer standards but for a six year old thats not bad! Course that would never ever fly in America. Drink your soda and get fat.

                            11 Replies
                              1. re: Josh

                                Wait, am I missing something? Did someone illegalize having a morning beer?

                                1. re: Cachetes

                                  I'm speaking more generally about our illiberal attitudes towards things like alcohol. In Europe, it's not considered a big deal, and kids are given things like low-alcohol wine and beer with meals. Here in the US you'd probably have your kids taken away from you for doing that.

                                  1. re: Josh

                                    I should clarify: I don't disagree with you. My husband and I have pretty liberal attitudes toward alcohol (I am second generation Italian w/close ties to family there, my husband is Mexican, if that explains it). What got me was the "free" comment, as if Europe is a bastion of freedom in comparison to the U.S.. This isn't exactly your point and indicates that I willfully interpreted your comment how I wished. But (and this discussion is way beyond the scope of this site) attitudes there can be equally close-minded, if about different issues.

                                    1. re: Cachetes

                                      Well, I can't hide the fact that visiting Europe left me more than a little annoyed at the constant chest-thumping over here about freedom when you can't get traditionally made salami, cheese, and you have the USDA allowing every agribusiness policy under the sun while leaning on small farmers - it's pretty ridiculous.

                                      1. re: Josh

                                        Free the cheese! (I agree with you on that, and others I'm sure).

                                        1. re: Cachetes

                                          Free the cheese! I love that our beef and chicken cannot be sold in Europe.
                                          Fries w/ that?

                                          I lived in Europe for 11 years and w/ the notible of the of CCCP, I never noticed a great deal of early morning drinking. Of course, Norway and Finland are bad examples too, with their restrictive alcohol policies. Chpter 1 in Taras Grescoe's The Devil's Picnic deals w/ alcohol policy and national drunkeness.

                                  2. re: Cachetes

                                    Cachetes.. while not illegal (technically could be illegal in some states on certain days in public establishments ) Having beer in the morning is not viewed as acceptable practice in USA. (Now, kegs and eggs , is a vauled tradition for me ever year, but not society as a whole)

                                    I agree with Josh all the way ..My family is mostly Italian and the few left in Italy or Australia have such a different view point on alcohol in general. Wine is practially a second option to water. Kids grow up to appreciate not abuse the subtance .. (obviously this is not always the case)

                                    1. re: Augie6

                                      I have family in Ireland who routinely let their very young (3 year old) children drink very watered down claret. I have no problem with it but what amazes me is they let them sip it from Waterford!

                                      When we visit, it's generally for a wedding so there's a holiday mood around the village where they all live. We tend to stay up very late drinking, singing. Except for the dairy farmers, most of us sleep until around 10:30 or 11 and then it's pretty much mandatory that you have a pint along with an enormous Irish breakfast. But they assure me this isn't the way life goes on once we've left. Ah, Ireland!

                                2. re: Insidious Rex

                                  Yeah... monks are notorious boozers and cheesers.

                                  Wish I could wake up to a St. Ambroise oatmeal stout every morn... now there's a great breakfast beer.