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Beer Trivia

The word beer comes from the Latin word ‘bibere’ meaning ‘to drink’.

The invention of bread and beer has been argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization.

The earliest known chemical evidence of beer dates to circa 3500–3100 BC from the site of Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran.

Monks brewing beer in the Middle Ages were allowed to drink five quarts of beer a day. In ancient times, monks who fasted or abstained from solid food subsisted on beer.

The oldest known written recipe is for beer.

The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because of beer.  They had planned to sail further south to a warm climate, but had run out of beer on the journey

 Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected in 1932 because of his promise to end Prohibition.

 In Japan, beer is sold in vending machines, by street vendors and in the train stations.

Bourbon is the official alcohol of the United States, by an act of Congress.  Many people have attempted to have that overturned in favor of beer instead throughout the years.

American beer is predominately made from rice. That is why it tastes so light compared to foreign beers. This is an American invention to increase profits as they hoped a lighter beer would also draw women to purchase.

 If you collect beer bottles you are a labeorphilist.

 The ‘33’ on a bottle of Rolling Rock was originally a printer’s error.  It refers to the 33 words in the original slogan.  It has generated enough mystery over the years that the company left it in the label.

 The oldest known code of laws is the Code of Hammurabi from ancient Babylonia, about 1750 B.C. It regulated the practices of drinking houses, and called for the death penalty for proprietors found guilty of watering down their beer.

In Babylon over 4000 years ago, it was customary for the bride's father to supply his new son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. As mead is a honey beer and their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the 'honey month' – or what we know today as the 'honeymoon'. In fact, Babylonians believed if the groom drank mead for an entire month, it enhanced the chances of his wife bearing a male heir.

 In eleventh-century England, a bride would distribute ale to her wedding guests in exchange for donations to the newlyweds. This brew, known as Bride Ale, is the origin of the word 'bridal.

 After consuming buckets of aul (or ale), the Vikings would head fearlessly into battle, often without armor or even shirts. In fact, "berserk" means "bare shirt" in Norse, and eventually took on the meaning of their wild battles.

 The pursuit of beer changed the course of humanity forever in 5000 BC. Neolithic people abandoned their wandering lives for farming, to grow grain for brewing beer.

 The Egyptian pyramids were built on beer. Stonecutters, slaves and public officials were paid in a type of beer called 'kash' – which is where the word 'cash' originated.

In Egypt, two containers of beer were the minimum wage for a day's labor.

 In English pubs, unruly customers were told to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down – and so began the phrase "mind your P's and Q's". (Another explanation is customers were being warned about the potency of the beer. At 'freehouses' where people could make and sell their own beer, there was less control on the alcohol content.)

 Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb into the mix to find the right temperature for adding yeast. Too cold and the yeast wouldn't grow; too hot and the yeast would die. This ancient practice is where we get the phrase 'rule of thumb'.

 Saint Arnold, a bishop born in 580, is considered the patron saint of beer. He encouraged people to drink beer instead of water during the Plague. Indeed, the Plague suddenly disappeared once his word spread (though some suggest because beer was boiled in the brewing process, it would have been safer than water, which had previously spread the infection.) When Saint Arnold died in 640, the citizens of his hometown carried his body from Remiremont to Metz for reburial in their church. On this journey, another miracle occurred – when the weary porters stopped to share their only mug of beer, they discovered the mug never ran dry.

 The most expensive beer in the world is called “Tutankhamen” and is prepared according to the recipe recovered by a group of University of Cambridge archaeologists in Queen Nefertiti’s Temple of the Sun in Egypt. It costs US $52 a bottle, and is produced in limited and numbered edition.

 The pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in  1620 was because they ran out of beer. Although they planned to continue down the east coast, the Mayflower's log explains the passengers "were hasted ashore and made to drink water that the seamen might have the more beer". On their arrival, the pilgrims immediately built a common house, which included a brewery.

 The music for "The Star Spangled Banner" was derived from a British drinking song called "Anacreon".

 Assyrian tablets from 2000 BC stated that Noah was carrying beer aboard the ark.

 Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

 Ale was brewed for centuries without hops. Before the 1400s, ale was flavored with herbs such as rosemary and thyme. Yet the antiseptic quality of hops helped to preserve ale from spoiling and later became a vital part of its flavor.

In the Czech Republic, beer is cheaper than Coke. A half litre at the local pub costs just 30 cents (10.50 CZK) while a half litre of Coke costs 85 cents (30 CZK). Beer is a little more expensive than club soda (which costs 29 cents, or 10 CZK, for a half litre).

Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty glass

 A flood of beer swept through the streets of St. Giles, England, on 17 October 1814. Caused by a rupture in a brewery tank containing 3500 barrels of beer, the tidal wave killed nine people and demolished two houses.

The first six-pack of beer was produced by the Pabst Brewery in the 1940s. The brewery conducted numerous studies, which found six cans were the ideal weight for the average housewife to carry home from the store.

One method of checking a beer’s quality is the way in which the foam adheres to the side of the glass after each sip. Beer connoisseurs call this “Brussels lace.”

Czechs drink the most beer in the world per capita – an average of 160 litres a year per person.

 In olde England, town inns paid a government tax known as a 'scot' for serving beer. Beer lovers who left town to drink at rural pubs were said to be drinking 'scot free'.

 The British Army supplied its men with a cash allowance for beer, considered a vital nutritional staple on long overseas missions. With this allowance of one penny, soldiers enjoyed six pints of ale every day.

Beer was often served for breakfast in medieval England.

It was customary in the 13th century to baptize children with beer.

President Theodore Roosevelt took more than 500 gallons of beer with him on an African safari.

The first consumer protection law ever written was enacted over beer by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria in 1516.  It was a purity law limiting the ingredients of beer to barley, hops and water.

Tegestology is what collecting beer mats is called.

Beer is the second most popular beverage in the world, coming in behind tea.  However, in England and Ireland, beer is the most popular beverage.

Pabst Beer is now called Pabst Blue Ribbon beer because it was the first beer to win a blue ribbon at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

To get rid of the foam at the top of beer (the head), stick your fingers in it.

Bavaria still defines beer as a staple food.

To keep your beer glass or mug from sticking to your bar napkin, sprinkle a little salt on the napkin before you set your glass down.

The oldest known written recipe is for beer.

Anheuser-Busch is the largest brewery in the US.

The longest bar in the world is the 684 foot long New Bulldog in Rock Island, IL.

The powers that be at Guinness say that a pint of beer is lifted about ten times, and each time about 0.56 ml is lost in a beer drinker’s facial hair.  That’s a lot of wasted beer!

Molson, Inc. is the oldest brewery in North America.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected in 1932 because of his promise to end Prohibition.

The first United States Marine Recruiting Station was in a bar.

In 1935 the canned beer industry was revolutionized by a vinyl plastic liner developed for cans made out of tin.

The movie The Shawshank Redemption got their period beer containers wrong.  The prisoners on the roof drank beer out of bottles in the 1930s, when beer was canned until many years later.

Tossing salted peanuts in a glass of beer makes the peanuts dance.

Samuel Adams Triple Bock is the strongest beer in the world with 17% alcohol by volume.  The strength is achieved by using champagne yeast.

Many actors started out as bartenders: Sandra Bullock, Bruce Willis, Tom Arnold, Chevy Chase, Kris Kristofferson and Bill Cosby are a few of these.

Michelob was invented during a brewer’s strike in the 1930s from a recipe tossed together by the untrained workers left behind to run the brewery.  It was so bad local taverns tossed their delivered barrels in the gutter until the streets ran with beer.  When the strike was over, the brewery didn’t want to lose all that beer, no matter how bad, so they repackaged it and sold it as Michelob.

Beer is a source of B- complex vitamins.

The portable beer cooler was invented in Australia in the 1950s.

The oldest brewery in the United States is Yuengling in Pottsville, Pennsylvania – founded in 1829.

Anheuser-Busch and Yuengling breweries delivered beer by hitch-and-wagon to the White House on the day Prohibition was lifted in 1933.

Over 1.4% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product comes from the beer industry. (2007)

U.S. beer sales surpass that of both wine and spirits combined. (2007)
Beer Sales: $98 billion
Spirits Sales: $62.6 Billion
Wine Sales: $28.1 Billion

Ninkasi was the patron goddess of brewing in ancient Sumer.

Beer in cans & bottles (packaged beer) outsold draught beer for the first time in 1940. Canned beer outsold bottled beer for the first time in 1969.

In 1879 there were at least 43 breweries in the Brooklyn area of New York. In 1977 there were none.

In 1935 Krueger Brewing became the first brewery to sell beer in cans. The cans were made of steel and the can itself weighed in at 4 ounces!

Why beer is better than wine: Human feet are conspicuously absent from beer making.

California has more breweries in the U.S. than any other state (279 brewing companies in California in 2007).

Beer was the first legal alcoholic beverage to be sold when prohibition was repealed.  Beer was legal on April 7, 1933, but other alcoholic beverages could not be legally purchased until December 5, 1933.

Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria decreed in 1516 that beer could only be brewed from barley malt, hops and water. This Rheinheitsgebot (purity law) was the world's first consumer protection law.

According to Czech legend, deity Radegast, god of hospitality, invented beer.

Ale is the primary style of beer consumed in England. Lager beer is the dominant beer style throughout the rest of the brewing world.

Beer was first sold in bottles in 1869 by English brewer Francis Manning-Needham.

Pilsner Urquell, the original pilsner, still uses the same recipe and brewing process today as when the beer was first invented in 1842.

In Egyptian mythology, the immense blood-lust of the fierce lioness goddess Sekhmet was only sated after she was tricked into consuming an extremely large amount of red-coloured beer: she became so drunk that she gave up slaughter altogether and became docile.

The Czechs know a thing or two about beer -- the Czech Republic has the largest beer consumption per capita in the world. They consume at a level that is almost double the yearly consumption level of the United States.

Pilsner Urquell was the number one import beer in the U.S. before Prohibition.

In a Czech beer house, the bartender will refill your glass every time you empty it – until you place your coaster on top of your glass, signaling that you have had enough.

The ancient Babylonians were making more than a dozen different varieties of beer from various grains and honey in 4000 B.C.

The Egyptians believed that the god of agriculture, Osiris, taught humans how to make beer.

In 1900 there were over 1,800 breweries in the U.S. In 1980 there were 44.  According to The Brewers Association, there were 1,449 breweries in the U.S. in 2007. This included 1,406 small, independent and traditional craft brewers.

Annual 2001 beer production in the U.S.: 195,000,000 barrels.
Annual 2001 beer production of Anheuser-Busch: 93,000,000

According to the Census Bureau, U.S. per capita beer consumption in 2004 was 21.6 gallons.

The largest brewery in the U.S. is the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Lager is a bottom fermented, lightly hoped beer originally brewed in Germany, lager is aged under refrigeration for 6 weeks to 6 months (lager is German for storehouse). Most lagers are fairly light in color, highly carbonated with a medium hop flavor. The original German lager was dark in color.

The people at Guinness, Ireland’s most famous brewery estimate that in Great Britain alone, 92,749 liters of beer each year are lost in beer drinker’s moustaches and beards. They estimate that each pint (approx. ½ l) is raised 10 times, and each time, 0.56 ml is absorbed into the facial hair.

Belgium, has the most individual beer brands? They have over 400 brands.

The first U.S. lager was brewed in 1840 by John Wagner, who had a small brewery in the back of his house on St. John Street in Philadelphia. Wagner brought the first lager yeast to the United States from a brewery in Bavaria.

A braxator is a brew master in Latin.

The familiar Scandinavian toast sköl derives from scole, the drinking bowl shaped like the upper half of a human skull. Originally, these bowls were fashioned from the actual skulls of enemy killed in battle.

King Gambrinus (not to be confused with St. Arnold, the patron saint of brewing) is known as the "patron saint of beer.

Prohibition lasted 13 years, 10 months, 19 days, 17 hours, 32 1/2 minutes

Brahma Beer is the bestselling brand in the Western Hemisphere outside of the United States. It is brewed in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In Germany there is a beer ice cream in Popsicle form. Its alcohol content is lower than that of classic beer.

In Medieval Europe, brewing and baking went together. Thus women were the first European brewers and were often called ale wives.

In 1810 Munich establishes Oktoberfest as an official celebration.

King Frederick the Great once banned coffee to bolster sagging beer sales.

After consuming buckets of aul (or ale), the Vikings would head fearlessly into battle, often without armour or even shirts. In fact, "berserk" means "bare shirt" in Norse, and eventually took on the meaning of their wild battles.

Legend has it that Gambrinus, god of beer, challenged the devil to produce a “wine without grapes.” The historical origin of the concoction we know today can be found in 12th-century Belgium, although the Egyptians had already created fermented-grain beverages well before then.

The pursuit of beer changed the course of humanity forever in 5000 BC. Neolithic people abandoned their wandering lives for farming, to grow grain for brewing beer.

In 1116 BC, Chinese imperial edict stated that heaven required people to drink beer.

Saint Arnold, a bishop born in 580, is considered the patron saint of beer. He encouraged people to drink beer instead of water during the Plague. Indeed, the Plague suddenly disappeared once his word spread (though some suggest because beer was boiled in the brewing process, it would have been safer than water, which had previously spread the infection.) When Saint Arnold died in 640, the citizens of his hometown carried his body from Remiremont to Metz for reburial in their church. On this journey, another miracle occurred – when the weary porters stopped to share their only mug of beer, they discovered the mug never ran dry.

Carlos V: This emperor was the first beer importer, and one of its most illustrious drinkers and aficionados. It’s said that even in his retirement in Yuste, he kept a Flemish brewer in his reduced entourage.

Recent archaeological findings showing that Chinese villagers were brewing fermented alcoholic drinks as far back as 7000 BC on small and individual scale, with the production process / methods similar to that of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

The United States two-dollar bill features three brewers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams. In fact, George Washington installed a brewhouse on his grounds at Mount Vernon.

Beer wasn't sold in bottles until 1850. Beer lovers would visit their local tavern with a special bucket, have it filled and then begin the merry journey home.

Universities in Europe and America from the 1300s through the 1700s had in-house breweries to provide beer to the students. Harvard had its own brew house in 1674 and five beer halls, each burned down by rioting divinity students.

Ancient Egyptians brewed beer in just three days, due to the hot climate. Served as a still

By 3000 BC, the Egyptians were brewing at least six different types of beer.

1888: Citizens of Munich took to the streets and rioted after a beer price increase was announced.

A 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread.

Ninkasi, you are the one
You are the one who holds with both hands the great sweet wort...

Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat,
It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.

In 1740, Admiral Vernon of the British fleet decided to water down the navy's rum. The unhappy sailors nicknamed the Admiral 'Old Grog', after his wool grogram coats. The term 'grog' soon began to mean the watered down drink itself.

Root Beer was originally called Root Tea, however the name was changed to Root Beer to get more people to take interest in it.

Guinness sells an average of 7 million glasses a day.

1587: The first beer is brewed in the New World at Sir Walter Raleigh's colony in Virginia, but the colonists send requests to England for better beer

A beer a day... Beer was used to treat over 100 illnesses in Egypt, 1600 BC.

In the 13th century, King Wenceslas convinced the Pope to revoke an order banning the brewing of beer in Czech territories (no wonder he was known as 'Good King Wenceslas).

Beer became vital to all the grain-growing civilizations of Eurasian and North African antiquity, including Egypt — so much so that in 1868 James Death put forward a theory in The Beer of the Bible that the manna from heaven that God gave the Israelites was a bread-based, porridge-like beer called wusa.

The Greeks taught the Romans to brew

A Beer in Any Language Sounds Good

Afrikaans: Bier
Czech: Pivo
Dutch: Bier
Finnish: Olut
Filipino: Bir
French: Bière
Gaelic: Leann
German: Bier
Greek: Bere
Hawaiian: Bia
Hungarian: Sor
Indonesian: Bir
Irish: Beoir
Italian: Birra
Japanese: Biiru
Polish: Piwo
Portugese: Cerveja
Spanish: Cervesa
Swahili: Pombe
Swedish: Ol
Yiddish: Bir

Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced about 5,500 years ago in what is today Iran, and was one of the first-known biological engineering tasks where the biological process of fermentation is used.

 In 15th century England, an unhopped beer would have been known as ale, while the use of hops would make it a beer.

 The mythical Flemish king Gambrinus (from Jan Primus (John I)), is sometimes credited with the invention of beer.

 Beer, as all alcoholic drinks, is made by fermentation caused by bacteria feeding on the yeast cells, then defecating. This bacterial excrement is called alcohol.

 The world’s strongest beer is 'Samuel Adams' Triple Bock, which has reached 17% alcohol by volume. To obtain this level, however, they had to use champagne yeast.

 Modern breathalyzers work on a clever electrochemical principle. The subject's breath is passed over a platinum electrode, which causes the alcohol to bind with oxygen, forming acetic acid. In the process it loses two electrons, a process that sets up a current in a wire connected to the electrode. The higher the concentration of alcohol in the breath, the greater the electrical current, which can be read by a simple meter to indicate intoxication levels.

 The term 'toddlers' originated in England. There were impurities in the drinking water that disallowed the water to be used for drinking. A common alternative drink was beer (it was cheap, plentiful and the water used to make it was treated during the initial boiling during brewing). Toddlers, just weaning off of mother’s milk were unaccustomed to the effects of beer. This coupled with the fact that they were just learning how to walk really made them toddle.

In the mid 70's, Australians were the 3rd biggest beer drinker in the world. (Behind Germany and Belgium). In the late 90's, they don't even get into the top ten!

Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe as far back as 3000 BC, though was mainly brewed on a domestic scale.

Beer produced before the Industrial Revolution continued to be made and sold on a domestic scale, although by the 7th century AD beer was also being produced and sold by European monasteries.

More than 133 billion liters (35 billion gallons) are sold per year—producing total global revenues of $294.5 billion (£147.7 billion) in 2006.

The Finnish epic Kalevala, collected in written form in the 19th century but based on oral traditions many centuries old, devotes more lines to the origin of beer and brewing than it does to the origin of mankind.





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