A few years back, I was in Brussels, Belgium, enjoying a beer with a friend. The same beer they served at his primary school.
I thought he was kidding. Then he explained that Belgian teens were enjoying beer in primary schools as recently as 1991.
You can trace this quirky custom back to the Middle Ages, when monks figured out that drinking beer was way safer than drinking the water. The distillation process killed off the disease-carrying bacteria that was commonly found in the drinking water.
Schools picked up the idea, and Belgian kids were soon drinking low-alcohol beer called tafelbier—literally “table beer.”
And it wasn’t just children. Pretty much anyone who could afford to would drink beer rather than risk their life with contaminated water.
The practice began a slow death when Belgians developed water treatment in the early 19th century. Still, the beer-obsessed Belgians continued the table beer tradition until the end of the 20th century. Read more…..
Chart of the Day
Dec.11 — It’s been three full days of trading the newest commodity contract out there – Water. The liquid future now joins the ranks of gold and oil, allowing investors to bet on the price coming up. Bloomberg’s Dani Burger reports on “Bloomberg Markets: European Open.”