Time for a pop quiz! What common beverage helped start the agricultural revolution, helps prevent kidney stones, and has been around for thousands of years? If you said beer you would be correct. Man’s favorite drink has been around for several thousand years and holds a special place in our history. People’s desire for more beer brought forth some of our most important inventions, such as the plow and irrigation systems which allowed for more efficient farming.

  1. Ben Franklin said, “Beer is proof that God loves us.”
  2. Zythology (zith-owl-oh-gee) is the study of beer and beer making, including the role that particular ingredients play in the brewing process.
  3. The oldest written recipes ever discovered by human beings are for making beer – written on stone tablets over 5000 years ago in the form of songs.
  4. The oldest beer ad on a clay table – recorded about 4000 BC adorned with a large breasted woman holding 2 goblets and inscribed with the caption, “Drink Elba Beer – the beer with the heart of a lion.”
  5. The first professional brewers were women.
  6. Hops used in brewing beer are in the same family of flowering plants as marijuana.
  7. 2000 BC – the first recorded drunk driving accident. In ancient Egypt, an inebriated charioteer is apprehended after running down a vestal virgin of the goddess Hathor. The culprit is crucified on the door of the tavern that sold him the beer, and his corpse allowed to hang there until scavengers reduce it to bones.
  8. Beer gone bad. When British brewers tried to send their pale ales over to India, the beer would go bad during the long ocean voyage. Beer makes began to add extra alcohol and hops to help with the preservation. This inadvertently created a new style of extra bitter, extra powerful beers called India Pale Ales or IPA’s.
  9. There are 400 different types of beers. Belgium has the most individual beer brands in the world.
  10. Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.
  11. Most expensive beer: Vielle Bon Secours. The beer is so expensive that it is only sold in one bar, Bierdrome, in London.
  12. More beer please! The agricultural revolution was started because people needed a way to make more beer. This led to inventions such as the plow, wheel, and irrigation systems.
  13. Beer made with spit. Ancient Incan girls 8-10 would chew corn into a pulp-like consistency in their mouths, then spit the pulp out into huge vats of warm water to sit for several weeks. The viscous, cloudy, lumpy spit-filled mixture would be later strained.
  14. The oldest claimed functional brewery in the world: Bayerische Staatsbrauerie Weihenstephan near Munich, founded nine centuries ago in the year 1040.
  15. Beer for health. Beer contains almost all the minerals we need to survive. It was a staple of many diets during the European Middle Ages, when good nutrition was rare. You drank beer to survive. Drinking wasn’t just for adults. Children also consumed beer as a source of energy and nutrients.
  16. Beer makes you smarter. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who drank moderately had better cognitive function compared to non-drinkers. Researchers pointed out that drinking beer raises HDL (that’s the good cholesterol) which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and better cognitive functioning.
  17. Beer prevents kidney stones. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that “beer consumption was inversely associated with risk of kidney stones (in middle age men.) Each bottle of beer consumed per day was estimated to reduce risk by 40%.”
  18. Beer strengthens your bones. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, beer “protects bone mineral density because of its high levels of silicon. This allows the deposit of calcium and other minerals into bone tissue.
  19. Historically, brewing beer was considered a very important and noble task for women. In ancient Peru, the breweries were staffed by women of the elite. The women had to be of noble birth or extremely beautiful. “Brewster” is the correct term for a woman who brews beer.
  20. In ancient Egypt there was a written law that prevented men from selling and making beer.
  21. In the nineteenth century, nursing mothers in Munich, Germany would drink up to 7 pints of beer a day under the belief that this was required in order to breast feed their children.
  22. Don’t forget! Drink your daily ration of beer! One of the oldest laws in the world to be passed is related to beer. Babylonian King Hummurabi decreed that each person was to have a daily ration of beer, determined by their social status. He then went on to say that women would be drowned if they served beer.
  23. Thirsty China. The Czech Republic drinks more beer per capita than any other country. For the past two years, China drinks more beer than any other country (350 million hectoliters.) China is the fastest growing beer market in the world. The United States ranks number two by amount, but ranks number 11 on a per capita basis.
  24. 6 pack to go…The first beer cans were produced in 1935. Drinkers were no longer going to taverns, and breweries needed to get beer into homes. The smaller packages made it much easier to get beer home.
  25. A beer lover or enthusiast is called a cerevisaphile
  26.  In Hawaii, underage purchase of alcohol is prohibited except for law enforcement purposes, howeer, underage consumption of alcohol is not explicitly prohibited
  27. It’s believed that the Pilgrims on the Mayflower stopped at Plymouth Rock instead of continuing on the Virginia because they ran out of beer.
  28. Vikings believed that a giant goat whose udders would provide them with an endless supply of beer was waiting for them in Valhalla.
  29. The average American consumes: 47.3 gallons of soda, 26.5 gallons of coffee, and 23 gallons of beer annually.
  30. The expression “Rule of Thumb” actually came from brewers, who used to insert their thumb into the mix to determine when the temperature was right to add yeast.