Egg in Beer: Cracking The Code Behind the Science & Tradition

Consider this: a glass of your favorite beer in one hand and a fresh egg in the other. An unusual pairing, you might think.

But did you know that this combination, known as “egg in the ol’ beer,” has a rich history dating back to the 17th century? Yes, you heard it right.

The practice of adding eggs to beer has both medicinal and culinary origins, and continues to intrigue beer enthusiasts to this day.

Short Summary

  • Cracking the Code: The Origins of Egg in Beer and its various combinations around the globe.
  • How to add an egg to beer for potential health benefits, with precautions taken against risks.
  • Debunking myths surrounding purported benefits of adding eggs to beer.

Cracking the Code: The Origins of Egg in Beer

The tradition of adding raw eggs to beer was first recorded in the 17th century. Back then, beer was seen as a significant source of nutrition, and starting the day with a morning beer was not an unusual practice.

It was believed that putting eggs into beer would cause particulates in the beer to settle at the bottom, resulting in a clearer beer. Early English medical practitioners even held the opinion that egg beer could be beneficial in curing illnesses.

The act of adding eggs to beer has evolved into three schools of thought – a matter of personal preference, medicinal advantages, and improving texture.

While there are certain health risks associated with consuming raw eggs in beer, such as potential salmonella contamination, the potential advantages like nutritional benefits and improved texture make it a worthy consideration for true beer lovers.

Even today, the practice of putting raw eggs into beer is prevalent in various areas. From the busy streets of Pennsylvania to the bustling pubs of New Jersey, the tradition carries on.

As we delve deeper into the world of egg-beer combinations, let’s take a journey around the globe to explore the various flavors this unique pairing has to offer.

A World of Flavors: Different Egg-Beer Combinations Around the Globe

Incorporating a raw egg into beer is not a new concept. It’s a tradition that dates back to colonial times in America, where it evolved into a drink known as a flip.

In Pennsylvania, the tradition of adding an egg to your beer was believed to be a hangover cure, a belief that soon spread to New Jersey.

This tradition has given rise to beer styles like Gose and Oyster Stout that include eggs or eggshells as ingredients, offering unique flavors to beer drinkers.

Travel further south to Chile, and you’ll discover Malta Con Huevo, a concoction of dark malt beer, sugar, and cracked eggs.

On the other side of the world, in northeastern Pennsylvania mining towns, you’ll find the miner’s breakfast, two raw eggs cracked into a beer, creating a unique texture and flavor, often accompanied by a shot of whiskey.

This concoction, also known as the Irish Breakfast, is still accessible in bars across the nation, particularly on the East Coast.

These unique egg-beer combinations reflect the diverse culinary traditions found around the world. Despite the initial skepticism one might have towards consuming raw eggs in beer, these concoctions have stood the test of time and continue to intrigue beer lovers across the globe.

In fact, people drink beer with raw eggs in various cultures, showcasing the versatility of this beverage. But how do you add an egg to your beer?

Let’s unravel the art of mixing.

The Art of Mixing: How to Add an Egg to Your Beer

The process of adding an egg to your beer is an art in itself. The egg provides a sweet taste that complements the bitter hop flavor of the beer. The key is to choose the right type of beer.

Light beers and traditional lagers with low to medium alcohol content are recommended.

However, the way you add the egg yolk can drastically change the texture of the drink. For example, if you completely whip the egg, you transform the beer into a beernog, introducing a whole new texture to your drink.

When you add the egg yolks, it doesn’t dissolve into the beer. Instead, it circulates slightly and settles at the bottom of the glass. When you’re nearly done with the beer, give it a vigorous swirl and consume both the remaining beer and the yolk in one swallow.

Now that we’ve cracked the art of mixing, let’s explore the potential benefits of this intriguing combination.

Beyond Taste: Benefits of Adding Egg to Beer

It’s not just about the unique flavor. Adding eggs to beer can offer several health benefits. The protein in eggs can increase the nutritional value of your beer. This adds a new dimension to your beer-drinking experience, making the beverage not just enjoyable but also more filling.

The primary purpose of adding eggs to beer is to increase protein intake while providing a low-guilt alternative to drinking beer. It’s a quick way to get protein without having to resort to other methods.

While the benefits of adding eggs to beer are clear, it’s important to remember that consuming raw eggs in beer comes with its own set of precautions and risks. Let’s delve into understanding these risks and how to mitigate them.

Safety First: Precautions and Risks of Consuming Raw Eggs in Beer

While the idea of drinking raw eggs by adding them to beer may sound appealing, it’s important to understand the potential risks. Consuming raw eggs can lead to Salmonella poisoning and allergic reactions.

Symptoms can include:

  • fatigue
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • dizziness

Therefore, it’s crucial to take certain precautions when adding raw eggs to beer. Ensure the eggs have been properly refrigerated and be mindful of any shell fragments that might fall into the beer, as they may contain bacteria.

Additionally, it’s advisable to source eggs from reliable sources and sanitize them. If you’re concerned about health risks, consider cooking the egg independently.

An alternative to using regular eggs is to use pasteurized eggs. Consuming eggs in beer in moderate amounts can also prevent unwanted reactions from the protein avidin found in raw egg whites.

Now that we’ve covered the safety aspects, let’s explore some creative cocktail recipes with egg and beer.

Creative Cocktails: Innovative Recipes with Egg and Beer

The world of egg-beer combinations is not limited to traditional recipes. There are innovative cocktails that incorporate eggs and beer, sometimes even involving drinking eggs.

For instance, Tom Cruise’s bloody mary-like preparation swaps vodka for beer, creating a unique twist to the classic cocktail.

Then there’s the Jamaican Guinness Stout Punch – a combination of Guinness stout, sweetened condensed milk, raw egg, cinnamon, and nutmeg. This drink is widely known and reputed to enhance libido in males.

These innovative recipes show the versatility of eggs and beer as ingredients and open up new possibilities for creative cocktails. But these combinations are not just about taste and creativity; they also reflect cultural traditions.

Cultural Connections: Egg in Beer as a Reflection of Tradition

The practice of adding eggs to beer reflects rich cultural traditions. In Vietnam, it’s customary to incorporate hundreds of eggs in beers, coffees, and colas.

This tradition has been maintained by cafes like the Giang Café. In the past, adding eggs to beer served practical purposes. During the Great Depression, it was a way to obtain adequate nourishment for the day. It was also seen as a social aid and was frequently consumed by soldiers on the battlefield.

These cultural connections highlight the significance of egg-beer combinations in different societies. But what about the myths surrounding egg-beer benefits? Let’s separate fact from fiction.

Debunking Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction in Egg-Beer Benefits

There are several myths surrounding the benefits of eggs in beer. One common belief is that it can cure hangovers. However, this is largely a misconception. While eggs provide nutrition, their nutritional value is minimal and unlikely to have any effect on a hangover.

The most effective way to prevent a hangover is not to add an egg to your beer, but to drink beer responsibly by consuming a glass of water for each glass of beer consumed.

While the tradition of adding eggs to beer may intrigue many, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Eggs can enhance the taste of beer and offer nutritional benefits, but they’re not a magic cure for hangovers or a surefire aphrodisiac as some might believe.


In conclusion, the tradition of adding eggs to beer is a fascinating journey that spans centuries and continents. From the 17th-century medicinal beliefs to modern-day innovative cocktails, egg-beer combinations have intrigued and delighted beer lovers around the world.

While there are potential benefits such as increased protein intake and enhanced flavor, one must also consider the risks and take necessary precautions when consuming raw eggs in beer.

So, the next time you hold a beer in one hand and an egg in the other, remember that you’re not just mixing two ingredients.

You’re participating in a tradition that has evolved over centuries, crossing borders and cultures.

You’re part of a global community of beer lovers who appreciate the unique combination of egg and beer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you put an egg in beer?

Adding egg whites to beer helps filter out impurities and sediment, resulting in a clear, smoother drink.

This can be an attractive option for beer connoisseurs looking for a better taste and flavor.

Where did egg in your beer originate?

The practice of adding eggs to beer dates back at least to the 17th century in England and may have been popularized by American WWII soldiers as a way to make their limited rations go further.

It became a catchphrase throughout the U.S. after the Pennsylvania State Brewers’ Association launched a public relations campaign to “sell the idea” in 1939.

Is it good to eat egg with beer?

Eating eggs with beer can be beneficial by providing protein and slowing the absorption of alcohol, potentially helping to prevent hangovers. [See Protein Beer]

However, one must be aware of potential health risks when consuming raw eggs.

What does egg do in drinks?

Eggs in drinks are primarily used for their texture and mouthfeel, creating a creamier texture and a thicker layer of foam. They can also soften sour drinks, making them lighter and more visually appealing.

What are some egg-beer combinations around the world?

Around the world, popular egg-beer combinations include the Miner’s Breakfast in the US and Malta Con Huevo in Chile.

Similar Posts