Nourishing Stout and Oat Drink

My mother always told me she and my grandmother loved drinking a Trappist beer when they were breastfeeding, she said that it was nurturing for new moms and that in the old days the nurses would actually bring a beer to the mothers to stimulate the lactation process.
But it isn't just a myth, if a nursing mother drinks a good old pint of beer, the yeast and hops in it will help increase her milk supply. Hops are also calming, so good for the new mom. Brewers yeast is also taken as a supplement to boost the milk supply by mothers who do not enjoy the taste of a lovely beer.

Trappist is a Belgian beer but I think Stout is the prefect beer for this recipe as I've heard stories about mothers receiving a Stout when they have given birth, a Nourishing Stout would have been better but sadly those haven't been brewed commercially for decades. Milk Stout is called that way because it used to contain lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Lactose doesn't only add sweetness to the beer, it also adds calories which is why together with the yeast and hops in the beer it was given to lactating mothers. Although Milk and Nourishing Stouts only became popular after the First World War, the usage of lactose and the mentioning or illustrating of it on the beer labels was forbidden after the Second World War due to rationing.

The only surviving Milk Stout is Mackeson's, I came across it by accident when I was at Tesco's a few months ago, the can still shows a milk churn that has been Mackeson's trademark since it was first brewed in 1907 at the Mackeson's brewery in Hythe, Kent. Mackeson's is now brewed by InBev so I doubt that there is still any lactose in the beer today.

As I am creating this concoction for my friend and fellow blogger Zita who gave birth to a healthy little boy a few hours ago, I am going to make it as nutritious as I can. 

Now luckily I know Zita does like an occasional beer so I'm not bringing her anything she wouldn't like to drink. I am including a way to remove the alcohol from the beer in the recipe, so it is 'safe' to drink for those who are worried about getting their newborn drunk. This drink isn't solely for nursing mothers, it is also for the dad, the friend, the guy in the street and the health food lover. It is packed with nutrition.

To go with the Stout I'm making my own Oat milk.
Oats have a low glycemic index, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels and make you feel fuller for longer. They also contain lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, are a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates. 
You can use 3 types of oats for this recipe, the groats which are the oat kernels with the hulls removed, rolled oats which are steamed groats that have been rolled out and flattened and steel cut oats which are the oat groats chopped up. Steel cut oats are therefore the best choice as they contain more of their original nutrients but they are not as easy to find as rolled oats. 

To break down the phytic acid content which makes the oats more digestible and reduce anti-nutrients so your body can soak up a lot more of the nutrients, I soaked the oats with cider vinegar. You can also use live yoghurt as lactic acid fermentation.

This drink is for all those who love Stout, if you don't care for Stout I don't recommend you try this drink as it is quite bitter. The bitter Stout works perfectly with the sweet oats, and even has notes of a coffee with lots of milk.

Before you skip to my recipe, have a look at our feast for Zita!
Maybe you remember the Virtual baby shower we did last summer, today were are back with a whole new table of food, follow the links to the blogs to read the other ladies recipes:

Our Menu
Giulia: Scarpaccia
Regula: Nourishing Stout & Oat Drink 

Beth: Moghrabieh Salad with Preserved Lemon and Coriander Pesto
Jasmine: Whole Wheat Flour Cocoa Cookies
Artemis: Kasopita - Cheese Pie from Εpirus
Sarka: Kiwi Carpaccio with Pecans and Manuka Honey
Emiko: Ricotta and Dark Chocolate Cake 
Sneige: Pomegranate Curd with Seedy Pine Nut Crust 
Simone: Pistache Raspberry Cakes
Karin: Fresh Pea Souffle with Goat Cheese

Nourishing Stout and oat drink
What do you need

Start the evening before, or in the morning.
To prepare the oats:
  • Steel cut or Rolled oats, 1 cup (you can use the groats if you can find them)
  • apple cider vinegar (or live yoghurt), 1 teaspoon
  • water, 2 cups

For the drink:
  • water, 2 cups
  • 1 date, stoned (2 if you like it sweeter) and cut finely
  • Stout or Guinness, 1 cup
  • a fine sieve 
  • a blender or food processor
  • Combine the oats, cider vinegar (or yoghurt) and water in a bowl, cover loosely and leave  to soak for at least 8 hours.

8 hours later ...

  • Drain your oats by straining them through a fine sieve, discard the soaking water
  • Rinse the oats gently to remove the starch
  • Put the oats and the date into the food processor (I used my Vitamix) and blend
To make this drink with alcohol free stout:
  • add one cup of stout to a small saucepan and bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes then let it cool. (the drink will taste less bitter with this method)
  • Add two cups of water and one cup of stout and blend again until creamy
  • At this point you can strain your oat milk through a fine sieve again to remove any of the oats, I choose not to, to keep the drink smooth and a little thicker. Discarding the oats is trowing away nutritious food.
  • If you want to strain, you can keep the leftover oats to make cake or pancakes.

Leave the drink to rest for 30 minutes - 1 hour before use


You might also like
Strawberry and Pimm's Granita
Drunken cherries 
Cobnut Brandy
Sloe Gin


  1. Mijn moeder dronk ook trapist tijdens het borstvoeden!

    1. Het zal wel goed zijn, en anders gewoon een goei excuus om na 9 maand droogligging te genieten van een biertje ;)

  2. A gorgeous drink and original combination! I really love the idea.

    Great clicks. What a wonderful retro mood.



    1. Thank you Rosa, I wanted to use these glasses and then remembered I had that old newspaper, perfect match :)

  3. Aaah, this is brilliant! Can't wait to try it, I think Zita will love it, it sounds so nourishing. Funny how beer is considered a great milk stimulator across many cultures. I think as you mentioned with the calming properties, partly it works too because it's a way to help new mums relax (one of the most important things when breastfeeding, especially at the beginning! Stress just stops the milk!). Now I won't feel guilty having a wee drink and I'm sure my little one will love this too! ;)

    1. This can't be bad, especially if you heat up the Stout to remove the alcohol. I wouldn't, there are far worst things for a baby than that tiny bit of alcohol. Just think of mothers drinking Cola... I'm so intrigued by this beer culture, it made me really think about how ancient the drink actually is and how connected to time, society, wars,...

  4. I love the research you do for your recipes!!! And, you actually helped me make a point with the bf ;) Love the idea of the drink. Whoever knew beer helps milk flow!

    Although I am not much of a beer person, I do love stout and I think I am going to make this sometime (I don't need to be feeding, non?!). There is a brewing company here that makes good milk stout although I am not entirely sure they use lactose in it..

    1. Just had a look at the website, it doesn't say but how great is that brewery! You are very lucky to have that brewery near and I'm sure this drink will taste superb with it. Guinness is a bit too bitter for it. The drink benefits from a sweeter more coffee flavour Stout. Let me know if you try! x

  5. Good morning!

    I love good beer, though, in Italy I never say no to a Glass of chilled Peroni (not Nastro Azzurro, but the one with the red label, or Peroni Gran Reserve- excellent drink for a truly hot Summer!)which is nice, in its own Peroni way!

    But I do know that Trappist beer is possibly the best and that you can't beat the aroma released by a pint of Real Ale, either. I don't say no to Guinness,when I get a chance to order one (very nice!)Natural beer, with no added CO2 has to be the best!

    I remember my pregnant cousin, in Italy drinking pints of beer and also milk (not together, though!) so, I can see where you are coming from, and it is nice that, though keeping to the main theme of your blog, you explore the culture of your country. I like that!

    The recipe looks like something very old, traditional, and I would certainly try it... why not?

    Thank you for an illuminating post and... I hope your friend like the "cocktail!"

    A woman I know saw me drink a pint of beer and said:"Ladies don't drink pints!" "This one does!" I replied!



    1. I agree natural beer is the best, luckily there are lots of craft ales, stouts and beers these days. Beer is in a revival!

  6. A beautiful post and a lovely idea!

  7. I just came across your blog! It's fabulous :)

  8. First of all congratulation to your friend Zita! =)
    I remember reading somewhere before that beer stimulates a mother's breast milk. I think so that must have been in the "Pillars of the earth" or maybe "Here be dragon". I wish I could remember! ^.^

    Can't wait to try your stout and oat drink, I think so I d love the different flavor dimensions. But I ll only be able to buy Guinness here or maybe I can get a hold of somebody here who makes dark beer. =)

    Thank you for this informative, well researched and interesting post!

    1. Guinness will work fine for this recipe, don't worry. I hope you will like it if you have a try!

  9. Awww, fantastic, Regula! I shall try the alcohol free version too! :)
    May I just add how much I admire your photos and posts :)

    1. Aww thanks so much sneige! x

  10. That is a fantastic drink Regula! And I am even later with the commenting as I was in Portugal over the weekend.. ;) Gorgeous shots as usual!

    1. Thanks Simone, hope you had a great time!

  11. There are, however, multiple delicious good milk-stouts made here in the US these days. , for one example!

    1. Hi there, thanks for sharing the link and indeed in the US there are several Milk stouts. I only doubt if the lactose used is synthetic or still derived from real milk... If you know, do let me know :)


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