In Britain, they are used for brewing beer. Oatmeal stout is one variety brewed using a percentage of oats for the wort.
Oat bread was first manufactured in England, where the first oat bread factory was established in 1899. In Scotland, they were, and still are, held in high esteem, as a mainstay of the national diet.
In Scotland, a dish called sowans was made by soaking the husks from oats for a week, so that the fine, floury part of the meal remained as sediment to be strained off, boiled and eaten. Oats are also widely used there as a thickener in soups, as barley or rice might be used in other countries.