Booze at Breakfast

The weisswurst frühstück Obama was enjoying is a beery Bavarian stalwart: boiled sausages with mustard, freshly baked pretzels and a cold weissbier, the operative word here being cold. Alcohol in the morning must be fresh and zippy. A bit of fizz, something dry, a hint of sweetness, a sharp kick – as drinks writer Henry Jeffreys puts it, “it’s the pick-me-up that makes you mellow”. Beer or ale for breakfast is not uncommon in the rest of northern Europe, particularly in Belgium – and even, until as late as the 1980s, in England, where breweries would give free drinks to their workers. While this was probably to counter pilfering, it also continued a long tradition of brewers enjoying a hearty brew to start the day, harking back to the “liquid bread” of 16th-century friars. It would seem there is more to an early-morning pint than just hair of the dog.

Dale Berning Sawa writing in The Guardian about the way many cultures consider it perfectly normal to start their day with a nip.

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