In the late 80s, I gave a talk on A/D converters to the electronics group at a German nuclear lab. After the talk, the Director of the group took me back to his office and asked if I would like a schnapps. I asked, "You're allowed to drink schnapps on the job?" The Director replied, "Only management. The workers, they have to drink beer." The cafeteria served beer to all, but the higher-ups had their own supply of the higher octane stuff.
what i have found (prsnl exprnce) is that if you induce a little alcohol (balance is the trick) in the system..it cools down the thought process just enough that the focus on the immediate task become so coherent that it gives laser a run for its money.. i ve coded for hours straight, non stop on the most mundane tasks with a little whiskey in the blood and rock playing in my headphones .. while whiskey and others can be a little hard to calibrate, beer on the other hand gives you just the required amount needed to turn the system into a streamlined arrow. . . so for core developers and the geek brigade i say let the beer cans come in on the company expense. . . for discussions (technical), a little ethanol in the system dfntly removes the inhibitions and you can exchange many more ideas without your mind first thinking abt 'wht my senior will think' . . .so apart from the belly .. i see it has only gud to offers .. cheerz :-)
Beer is just good food and needed for proper elevated thinking on hard to solve issues. That said most HRs frown on this sort of thing. I can say the companies that allowed beer were the most creative and productive places I worked. My beverage of choice was coffee in the morning and beer (just one) at lunch. Everything in moderation. That said, limiting the beer to a Friday or two a month might be more palatable to upper management (and HR), perhaps off site..
One of my good friends argued that beer needs to have caffeine added to it. That way after a couple, you don't get sleepy. If you add the keg next to the coffee pot in the cube, you will not reduce the wear of the carpet on the way to the expulsion room.
When I worked at Delphi, they had complex rules about any drinking on company property. My summary was accepted. though "If you buy it I will drink it, if you don't, I won't". But that company really could have used a lot of beer.
ON the other side, one of my employers concluded that if they gave me enough coffee they got as much good work from me as from two normal folks, and where can you get a good engineer for the cost of 15 cups a day? Wired, not tired!
Years ago I too used to travel to Munich for regular work trips. The company cafeteria sold beer, the office areas had mini-refrigerators that were usually stocked with beer, and there was even a refrigerated Lowenbrau vending machine next to the Coke machine.
Work hard and play hard seemed to function well for our inter-continental team. No beers before 5 pm, and we usually worked until the security guards told us to get out just before 9 pm.
That's another great thing about German culture -- you're not allowed to stay at work past 9 pm, and you can't go in on the weekends :)