Should You Put Raw Eggs In Your Beer?
Did you know that the world drinks roughly 190 million kiloliters of beer a year? Across the world, people have different cultures around the way they drink beer. One common practice across many areas of the world is to put a raw egg in your beer.
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But is this something that you should do, or is it just a trend? If you’ve been curious about putting a raw egg in your beer, we’re here to help. Read on for the practice, benefits, and safety of drinking raw eggs in your favorite beer. To note, should you attempt this, remember that it's a 1:1 ratio. That means that if you're going to use a case of beer, get 2 dozen eggs to go with it.
Disclaimer - Consuming raw eggs may make you sick, especially with a pint glass of beer, bloody mary or shot of whiskey. Beware of salmonella poisoning. Also, if you're drinking shots, you should probably figure out how many shots get you drunk before moving too far down the path of inebriation and intoxication.
How to Drink a Raw Egg in Beer
One of the first things to know is how you put a raw egg in your beer. After all, a raw egg in a drink isn’t anything new. There are many drinks like a whiskey sour that take a separated egg white, for example. Many nogs or other holiday drinks will also have eggs as the primary ingredient.
The primary difference is that these drinks are made with eggs in mind and incorporate them as core ingredients. By putting a raw egg in your beer, you already have a full drink with your glass of chosen beer. How would you incorporate egg?
The answer to that is simple; the most common way to drink a raw egg in your lager is just to crack it and put it into the drink. Generally, the yolk will stay together rather than dissolve and sink to the bottom. The raw egg whites will mix with the beer, especially if you stir gently to help incorporate it.
Conversely, many people separate the egg and drop only the egg yolk into their drink. Doing so barely changes the flavor or texture of your drink given that the yolk stays whole and at the bottom. The method is similar to other drinks or hangover cures like a prairie oyster.
“Beernogs” are commonly made where you may whip the egg up completely. Doing so will mix the raw egg in with your drink, changing the entire beverage. It’s a good tactic if you don’t like the thought of downing a raw yolk when you get to the end of your beer.
A Brief History of Egg in Beer
The egg has long been an ingredient in alcoholic beverages, from mixed cocktails and eggnog to simple drinks. Many holiday drinks include eggs, such as warmed beer nogs. These will commonly include holiday spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, a beer of choice, and whipped egg whites to help thicken the mixture.
In the old days, beer was practically a meal. It was thicker, more nutritious, and accompanied most meals regardless of the time of day. Nowadays, beer doesn’t quite have that same ability to fill you up, but adding an egg can help.
Egg in a beer has been popular as recently as the early 1900s, especially around the 30s and 40s. A common saying in North America is that someone wants “an egg with their beer,” usually used in a negative context. The saying typically translates to someone having more than enough but still wanting more, with the egg being extra on top of already having a beer.
The history in the United States goes back a bit further, however. Cracking an egg into a beer was a way to skirt laws against giving free food in a bar, as it technically was part of the drink and not food anymore. Doing so made it so that bartenders and bar patrons could feed themselves or hungry neighbors by having their food with their beer.
The same mixture became popular in mining towns as a meal replacement called the “miner’s breakfast,” popularized by the Pennsylvania State Brewers’ Association. The idea was to encourage both the sale of eggs and beer by making them seen as a pair. It was, as the name suggests, also a common item for miners and dockworkers to have with their breakfast.
Outside of North America, many nations and cultures have developed methods of drinking eggs in their beers. Some mix them in completely, others separate them and have them as different items. Whatever the concoction, eating a raw egg with your beer is far from a new concept, stretching well past the 17th century.
An article on Wikipedia pointed out that an article from Mixer and Server from January 15h, 1915 highlights how eggs weren't considered food the minute they splashed down into a beer, according to a Seattle judge. I love this kind of esoteric knowledge, don't you?
Then there's World War II where both fresh dairy and cervezas were hard to come by. That spawned the popular question, "What do you want, an egg in your beer?"
Beers to try adding an egg to
You're (most likely) going to want to start with light beers and traditional lagers as opposed to upper-class bourbon barrel stouts. Also, stick to beers with an alcohol content that is low-to-medium. If you were really motivated, you could try adding egg to your non-alcoholic beer of choice to make it an even healthier option. Even a Bud Zero could work.
- Any Mexican beer
Did you know that Yuengling is America's Oldest Brewery?
Other alcoholic drinks with egg in them
- Fallujah Omelet
- Jerry Thomas Eggnog
- Golden Fizz
- Prairie Oyster
- Round Robin
Safety of a Raw Egg in Your Beer
Eating raw ingredients isn’t a completely safe practice. Seafood items like oysters are often eaten raw but carry risks in doing so, especially for pregnant people. Popular treats like raw cookie dough are often advised against because of the raw ingredients inside that can cause you to be violently ill.
Eggs are no different, and you should be aware that you always carry the risk of getting sick eating an uncooked egg. Raw eggs can carry many different kinds of bacteria and are often associated with salmonella, for example.
The obvious way to fix this is to cook the egg - but frankly, putting a hard-boiled or fried egg into your beer just doesn’t work the same. The best thing you can do is get eggs from somewhere you can trust. Also clean your eggs first, as eggshells can also carry bacteria - if you get the shell in your beer, you may want to get a different beer.
If you’re worried about the health risks, the best thing you can do is just cook your egg and eat it separately. Otherwise, make sure to monitor your health. Seek medical attention if you become ill with symptoms such as fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, or dizziness. The chances of getting sick from a raw egg are low, but there is a chance.
Benefits of a Raw Egg in Your Beer
We know how, but why? There are plenty of health benefits to putting a raw egg in your beer. Here are the primary reasons people are mixing their alcohol with an egg.
One of the biggest reasons people mix an egg with their beer is to add more protein to their diet. It’s common amongst bodybuilders or those that are trying to bulk up.
The obvious question is why someone would pick to get their protein in such a way. Why not use a protein powder, make another dish with the same protein, or just eat the egg in a different way?
The only real answer to that is simply, “why not?” It’s a great, quick way to get protein without having to bother with other methods. You’re already drinking the beer, so why not make it part of your fitness regimen?
Along with proteins, eggs have plenty of health benefits. Beer isn’t the most nutritional of beverages, especially modern beers, and one can find themselves wanting to make it a bit healthier.
It also can lower the guilt of drinking beer, especially if you’re working to lose weight. Many people can feel disheartened cutting beer out of their diet, but making it a healthier drink can help ease these feelings considerably.
Adding an egg can help to make beer more filling. It’s a great way to spend less on food and curb your hunger easier. It’s also better for diets like intermittent fasting to keep you satiated until your next eating time frame comes around.
Some people will even use thicker styles of beers like stouts and porters as a full meal replacement. Thicker drinks can help curb your appetite a bit more than light beers or smoothies, and adding an egg keeps you full longer.
If you’ve ever heard about the “Hair of the Dog” to fix a hangover, this is one of the most popular methods. Many people believe that the best hangover cure is to have lighter alcoholic drinks. The alcohol helps soothe your body’s craving while not being so intense that it gets you drunk again. It also can help encourage you to burp, easing bloat.
Adding an egg provides your body with the nutrition and proteins it needs to help end your hangover. It’s the same theory as with the aforementioned prairie oyster - getting those nutrients into your body helps get your hangover over much quicker than just sipping water and suffering. Let's face it, no one really wants a beer headache.
It’s worth mentioning that not everyone is putting raw eggs in their drink for a trend or fitness. Many nations have cultures that accept and promote these drinks.
Areas in Vietnam have egg-based beer drinks that are a regional delight. Whisking egg yolks with sugar and butter before adding to the beer enhances flavors and textures. Chilean people have malta con huevo - scrambled beer - that blends eggs, sugar, and dark malt beers.
Many European nations also have drinks that incorporate eggs and beer, such as the well-known Irish Breakfast. Drinks like posset - hot milk with ale or wine with egg - are often used as home cures for colds.
Speaking of Irish Breakfasts, a bunch of characters on The Wire drink breakfast beers at the bar with egg in them. Slainte!
Mixing a raw egg with your favorite IPA could be a great way to improve your drink and add nutrition. While it isn’t without health risks, the many benefits make it more than worth attempting - like say, a hangover remedy. Keep tabs on your health and get medical help if you feel that you’re suffering negative effects from your raw egg beer.
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