beer for breakfast?

not sure how to make this fit into ars magica but here goes:in meadeval england they often had beer with breakfast.

AFAIK, this is true, and was common throughout Europe.

Fact is, Beer was safe to drink. Milk and Water could potentially kill you with germiness.

This sort of "beer" is nothing like our own today, or rarely. It was more like an oatmeal milkshake, but more watery.

Kind of like some of the modern coffee alternatives, with toasted grains, like Postum, Pero or Roma, if you know those.

Not entirely, not like you'd get the two confused, but toward that sort of taste.

Ah, but still alcoholic! Beer in Northern Europe, wine in Southern Europe.

In part for the reason mentioned above, that the alcohol would kill many of the things in the local water that would make you sick, but also because it was a good way to store food value for long periods without it going bad.

The idea of beer was to have "drinkable grains" or "liquid bread" and so was brewed thick.

I've actually had a warm bottle of Oatmeal Stout for breakfast. We were car camping, and it was that or some pink and white Mother's animal crackers, and I don't do "sweet" for breakfast. (Had those for lunch.)

It was different, but pretty good. (Hit a bit hard on an empty stomach, I will admit)

This past summer I just saw a history of beer show on a Discovery Channel's Modern Marvels show or something, too. I'll have to see if it's still in the pile somewhere.

I do recall early beer or lagers were quite different. It wasn't your modern Pilsner. Not that I would know what a continental and authentic Pilsner would taste like. :wink:


Well, can you imagine how cranky a magus would be if he woke up in the morning and couldn't get himself a beer? :wink:

As to using it in a game: say a young, cloistered magus fresh out of Gauntlet (that is, a typical PC) joins the covenant. On the first morning a grog knocks on his door and says "Here's your beer, sir." Then the grog gets all confused when the magus acts surprised. :wink:

Darn. I wish I had said:

Subject title: Beer for breakfast?

A: Yes, please. :slight_smile:

I remember a reference, not sure if it was in Harn Manor 3rd or on the History Channels history of beer, that midieval beer only kept for a couple of weeks after brewing.

I also remember in Harn manor that there was some form of triple brewing process that resulted in 1) the Good Stuff 2) the Bad Stuff and 3) the barely alcoholic stuff. Beer for break feast might fall into category 3.


A quick Google search turned up a nice link:

to the priceless medieval quote about drinking beer and going to Heaven, I add

I woke up in the morning and I got myself a beer. -- The Doors, "Roadhouse Blues"

You've been drinking brew for breakfast. -- The Clash, "Rudie Can't Fail"

"Beer is not - contrary to all the talk - a benevolent drink. The more I drink the less I am with full possession of my faculties." Odin according to the Havamaal.

Beer did come in a very wide selection. From the Danish Middle Ages I've heard of these broad cathegories: herreøl, svendeøl, spiseøl, madøl, juletønde, skibsøl, efterøl, kavant, flædie and drinkebeer.

In general quality was a broad measure ment of the ratio of malt to a barrel of beer, but also somewhat on what kind of materials were used to spice it - hops being one of them. The lousiest beer was nothing but by-products of the brewing and water.

There was huge difference in both the strength of the beers and the cost in breewing it (with more malt per barrel, the pricier) - thus some of the names refers to whom might drink it such as herreøl (lordsbeer - with a malt-barrel ratio of 1:1) versus svendeøl (serfsbeer). Even within the clerical orders there would be a huge difference in the beer drunk by various brothers within the same monestery.

Only if he's from the continent, win which his response would be "But I ordered wine".

Drinking to be drunk is a relatively new concept, most people in the past (and many in the present) drink for the social element and until the last couple of centuries because it was safer than water or milk.

What's surprising me is the apparent disconnect some people are having with this.

I am not sure I would agree with that; for instance the Bible has quite a bit to say about drunkenness, which suggests the concept existed in Biblical times.

I would agree, though, it is a new concept that certain beverages' primary purpose is to get one drunk.

This, I do agree with. I would add there may have been nutritional aspects as well; I get the impression medieval people tended to regard beer more as a liquid food than as a drink.

I think it's somewhat of an overstatement as drunkeness is hardly a new "invention" - but maybe we could agree somewhere in the middle if saying "only drinking to be drunk" - as in viewing alcohol as something purely used to get drunk (by many people who wouldn't drink it if it weren't to be drunk).

I'm certain that abuse of alcohol is no novelty - but that it is more a question of how commonly it's done. And that might as much be about the access, it being both cheaper and more readily available, to alcohol as about norms.

Damn... someone beat me to it :wink:

It also might be that how much is drunk is different that those of us might expect. I remember reading St Augustine telling of his mother drinking sneaking water and her not understanding why her parents considered wrong. His explanation was that if she got used to drinking lots of water as a child, when she was an adult, she would be drinking lots of wine instead.

That's what I mean't... :blush:

new spell to go with this thread(grain to beer)
grain to beer-muto herbam(auquam)20
basic effect-you turn grain into beer
target-grain in a cup(to contain the resulting beer) :slight_smile:

Or to do it in accord with actual rules, how about this?

Barley to Beer
ReHe(Aq) 10
Range: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual
Converts an amount of grain, water and other raw ingredients into well-brewed beer.
Base 5*, +1 Touch

*As per Covenants

I didn’t add an extra magnitude for the requisite for the same reason you don’t add one when doing muto form to other form spell. I could be wrong about that. (As well as being wrong about where Herbam leaves off and Aquam picks up. In my games I’ve ruled that they both can affect juices/wine, etc.)

thanks for the input!