Beer is one of the world’s oldest prepared beverages, and because of this has quite a lengthy history. Some estimates have the first brewed beer dating all the way back to the early Neolithic age in 9,000 BC. With such a long history, we thought you’d like to hear some fun and interesting beer facts. So here it is, 10 facts you probably didn't know about beer.
1. Workers who built the pyramids of Giza were given a mixture of beer and bread for sustenance. Archeologists have found numerous bakery/breweries where the two were produced in tandem, sharing the yeast from brew to bread and back again. Hmmm, which came first the beer or the bread?
2. The ancient Babylonians took their brewing so seriously, that if you served a bad batch of beer, they would drown you in it as punishment and as a warning to other brewers. So know your flavors, follow the steps and always taste test before serving... Your life may one day depend on it!
3. The earliest written recipe is not for french toast or pie or cake... But for beer! Archaelogists discovered a tablet describing fermentation that is over 4,000 years old! On the tablet, a Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of fermentation and brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe.
4. The average American drinks 23 gallons of beer a year, and as much as that sounds, we aren’t even close to touching the top 3. (Step it up America!) The average person from the Czech Republic consumes almost 40 gallons per year! Easily besting the 2nd and third highest drinking countries: Austria and Germany... America comes in at 14th, I don't know whether to be proud or depressed.
5. In 1814 a brewery vat erupted at St. Giles Parish, causing multiple other vats to also rupture. Why is this important? That first vat eruption and subsequent chain reaction, sent nearly 400,000 gallons of beer rushing through the streets of London. Destroying multiple homes and leveled a local brew pub.
6. The American Journal of Epidemiology states that a bottle of beer consumed every day reduces the risk of kidney stones by a whopping 40%. With percentages like that it’s almost insane not to drink beer, right?
7. The most powerful brew ever to grace the lips of humanity comes out of Scotland. Known as Snake Venom to a few and a waking nightmare to most, Snake Venom has a gut wrenching 67.5% ABV. Your average domestic has around 5-6% ABV. And craft beers usually don’t reach much higher that 12 or 13% ABV.
8. The now historical site of Mount Vernon, President George Washington’s stately manor, had its own brew house on the grounds. Early political campaigns lived and died by the brew. In one such campaign George Washington, while running for a seat in the House of Burgesses, provided over 144 gallons of hard cider and countless bottles of wine, beer and brandy... And he won! Voting day was a reason to binge in Colonial times, and the candidate who served up the most hooch often came out victorious.
9. Probably the best phobia I’ve ever heard of, Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass. So for all our sakes, bartender keep those pints a-comin’!
10. We all know that Oktoberfest is a huge beer festival in Munich, Germany. But did you know that it lasts 16 days! Or that more than 6 million people attend every year? If ever you're ever short on drinking buddies, Munich in the month of October is the destination for you.
+ For beginning brewers, the sheer quantity of different ingredients can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there’s a great way to learn all of the varieties of malts, hops, yeasts, and even water: Brew and Drink Beer! In other words, the only way to learn ingredients is to taste them. Sample different kinds of malt in your local brew shop, make hot and cold hop teas to formulate taste impressions and ideas, take good notes, get out there with other brewers and beer folks to discuss flavors, share, and of course: drink beer!
Synergy Brewing Systems where, "The Best Beer is the One You Brew."