Beer is the world’s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink. It is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea.
Let’s see some fun facts about it!
1. The production of beer is called brewing, which involves the fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from cereal grain starches—most commonly from malted barley, although wheat, maize (corn), and rice are widely used.
2. Most beer is flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruit may occasionally be included. The fermentation process causes a natural carbonation effect, although this is often removed during processing, and replaced with forced carbonation.
3. Some of humanity’s earliest known writings refer to the production and distribution of beer: the Code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours, and “The Hymn to Ninkasi”, a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people.
4. Beer is sold in bottles and cans; it may also be available on draught, particularly in pubs and bars.
5. The brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries.
6. The strength of beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (abv), although it may vary between 0.5% and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% abv and above.
7. Beer forms part of the culture of beer-drinking nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals, as well as a rich pub culture involving activities like pub crawling, and pub games such as bar billiards.
8. In Canada, the Canadian Government’s Food and Drug Regulations states that beer should have alcohol content that ranges from 1.1% to 8.6%. The regulation also includes that it could be greater than 8.6% and labeled accordingly.
9. Beer in South Korea should have 25% (v/v) or less which means that it has to be 25 mL of alcohol or less per 100 mL of solution and can only be considered ‘lite’ if they have less than 30 kcal per 100ml. More specifically, major ingredients such as malt (barley and wheat), hop, water, starch ingredients have to be allowed by the South Korean Regulations in the brewing process.
10. Beers and other similar variations in Singapore must have at minimum of 1.0% alcohol (v/v) concentration at 20°C. It is often brewed from a mixture of grains like malt, sugars or it’s equivalent and hops or other vegetables.
11. Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.
12. Slugs like beer.
13. Steven Petrosino of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania downed 1 liter of beer or 33 ounces in a chilly 1.3 seconds in 1977 which made him a World Beer Chugging Champion according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
14. In 1814, almost 400,000 gallons of beer flooded several streets in London after a huge vat ruptured in the parish of St. Giles.
15. The world´s strongest beer is Brewmeister´s „Snake Venom“. While regular beer usually have about 5% ABV, this Scottish killer has a stomach-burning 67,5% ABV.
16. Amsterdam pays alcoholics in beer to clean streets: 5 cans of beer for a day’s work, plus €10 and tobacco.
17. Stanford researchers found that beer bubbles create a gravity-defying loop. Bubbles head up in the center where frictional drag from the glass is less and down on the outside as the top gets crowded.
18. The Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids under the influence. According to Patrick McGovern, an archaeologist from the University of Pennsylvania, workers at Giza received about four liters of beer a day.
19. The study of beer and beer-making even has an official scientific name – zythology. It derives from the Greek words “zythos” (beer) and “logos” (study).