Interesting Facts About Beer

1. “Beer” is a Slavic word that came from the verb ‘to drink.’

“Beer” is a Slavic word that came from the verb ‘to drink.’

Before the word had a meaning, the term “beer” referred to any kind of drink.[1] The word originally came from Old Germanic languages. Its origin comes from the Old English word “beor,” which is a strong drink or mead. It came from the Old Germanic word “bier,” which is still used in Germany at the present time. The Latin word for beer is “bibere,” which means “to drink.” [2] 

2. Humans drink more than 50 billion gallons of beer each year around the world.

Humans drink more than 50 billion gallons of beer each year around the world

In America alone, more than 26 billion gallons of beer were produced in 2018. On average, about 18 gallons to more than 40 gallons of beer are consumed annually by state, based on per capita beer consumption.[3] Therefore, people around the world can consume more than 50 billion gallons of beer annually.[4] 

3. Beer is among the oldest beverages in the world, which dates back to 5,000 B.C.

Beer is among the oldest beverages in the world, which dates back to 5,000 B.C.

The very first barley beer was possibly born in the Middle East. It was where hard evidence of beer production was found, which dates back about 5,000 years ago to the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Ceramic vessels were found by archaeologists from 3400 B.C. Along with these is an ode to the Sumerian goddess of beer, which describes a recipe for a treasured ancient brew that was made by female priestesses.[5] 

4. The world’s most popular beer is Budweiser.

The world’s most popular beer is Budweiser

In 2020 and 2021, Budweiser was the most-valued beer brand in the world. Based on Statista, in 2020, Budweiser was valued at $14.65 billion dollars.[6]

5. The most expensive beer in the world costs $503,300.

The most expensive beer in the world costs 3,300

This was a 140-year-old bottle of beer that belonged to the Arctic Expedition of 1875 that was led by Sir George Nares. The beer was called the Allsop Arctic Ale. A few dozen of it was found in a garage in Gobowen Shropshire in England, and one was sold at an auction for an incredible $503,300.[7] 

6. The beer industry plays an important role in the economy of the United States.

The beer industry plays an important role in the economy of the United States

Did you know that the beer industry is a leading job creator and economic powerhouse? Based on a study in 2020 by Beer Serves America, the beer industry supports more than 2 million American jobs. It also contributes over $300 billion to the economy of the United States.[8] 

7. Beer has hundreds of styles, even though there are only two major categories.

Beer has hundreds of styles, even though there are only two major categories

You can find many different styles of beer in stores and bars. However, all of them fall into two major styles, which are ales and lagers. In lagers, yeast gathers at the bottom of the tank during the fermentation process. They are also usually crisp and refreshing. Ales, on the other hand, has yeast gathered toward the top. These beers are commonly fruity and aromatic.[9] 

8. The world’s first Pilsen was brewed by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll in 1842.

The world’s first Pilsen was brewed by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll in 1842

In 1842, a Bavarian master brewer named Josef Groll arrived in Pilsen. He was tasked to brew a very good and delicious beer. That is why on the 5th of October 1842, he created the first batch of Pilsner lager. It has a unique taste that even Groll was surprised. It was what laid the foundations for a beer that is so delicious. Soon enough, it gained great popularity not only in Pilsen but around the world.[10]

9. The non-mechanized method of brewing beer is called craft beer.

The non-mechanized method of brewing beer is called craft beer

Based on the definition given by the Oxford dictionary, craft beer is made in a traditional or non-mechanized way in a small brewery. By small, it means that the brewery only makes 6 million barrels or less in a year. It is also independent, which means less than 25% of it is retained or controlled by a beverage alcohol manufacturing member that is not a craft brewery. And by traditional, it means that most of the production derives its flavor from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and fermentation.[11] 

10. Compared to commercial beer, craft beer is more prized.

Craft beer is more prized compared to commercial beer as it is focused on the richness of flavor and overall quality, regardless of production costs. Commercial beers, on the other hand, are mass-produced and purposely watered down to make the brewing process cheaper.[12] 

11. It was in the 1950s when the game of beer pong was invented.

It was in the 1950s when the game of beer pong was invented

The game of beer pong was believed to have been invented sometime between 1950 and 1960 at Dartmouth College. Students seemingly left cups of beer on a ping pong table during a game, and players started aiming for the cups. It was originally played with paddles. However, fraternity brothers at Lehigh University adapted it to “throw pong.” [13] 

12. The very first brewers in Egypt were women.

The very first brewers in Egypt were women

From Vikings to the Egyptians, women brewed beer for both religious ceremonies and for a calorie-rich drink at home. From the Stone Age to the 1700s, beer was a household staple for most families in England and other places in Europe. It was an inexpensive way to consume and preserve grains. Since it was such a common part of the average person’s diet, fermenting was one of the normal household tasks for many women.[14] 

13. The study of beer and beer-making is referred to as zythology, which provides more insight into its ingredients and brewing process.

The study of beer and beer-making is referred to as zythology, which provides more insight into its ingredients and brewing process

Zythology is the study of beer as well as beer-making. It is also sometimes called zymology. A person who studies beer is called a zythologist. They can give many interesting facts about beer, which is a complex and sophisticated drink, including details about its ingredients and the roles they play in the brewing process.[15] 

14. Belgium has the most individual brands of beer in the world, with more than 224 active breweries.

Belgium has the most individual brands of beer in the world, with more than 224 active breweries

In the world, there are more than 400 types of beer. Among the countries in the world, Belgium has the greatest number of individual beer brands, having over 224 active breweries. This means that the country has different beers, including ales, lager, Lambic beers, stouts, and more.[4]

15. There term “alcoholiday” was created in the early 1900s and pertains to the leisure time spent drinking [16]

16. The builders of the Great Pyramid of Giza were compensated with a daily ration of beer.

The builders of the Great Pyramid of Giza were compensated with a daily ration of beer

Beer was an important drink for laborers in Ancient Egypt, including those who built the pyramids of Giza. They were given a daily ration of 1 1/3 gallons of beer. Beer back in those times was so essential that it was treated as a type of food and was consumed every day and in great quantities during celebrations.[17]  

17. Beer helped Joseph Priestley in discovering oxygen

Beer helped Joseph Priestley in discovering oxygen

It was when he noticed gases rising from the big containers of beer at a brewery and decided to do some experiments. Priestley was offered a ministry in Leeds, England, back in 1767, which was located near a brewery. Carbon dioxide was what started his lifetime study of the chemistry of gases. He found a way to yield artificially what occurred naturally in beer, which is water containing the fizz of carbon dioxide.[18] 

18. There is an open-air beer fountain that dispenses free beer to the public in Germany.

During the start of Bavarian Beer Week, a beer fountain is set up in Germany. It is an open-air fountain where you can get beer for free. Sounds really great, right?[19]

19. In ancient China, beer was brewed from sprouted rice and sometimes from rice with added fruit.

In ancient China, beer was brewed from sprouted rice and sometimes from rice with added fruit

Prehistoric alcoholic drinks, including wine and mead, are made from fruits, honey, and other substances that have simple sugars that are fermentable into alcohol with yeasts. Beer, on the other hand, back then, was made from cereal grains or other starchy substances like rice. Based on historical records, beer-making in Ancient China relied on three agents of saccharification, which are human saliva, sprouted grains, and mold starters.[20]

20. The oldest brewery in the world is the Weihenstephan brewery in Freising, Germany, which was founded in 1040.

The oldest brewery in the world is the Weihenstephan brewery in Freising, Germany, which was founded in 1040

 

The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan is believed to be the oldest operating brewery in the world. It can be found in the previous Weihenstephan Abbey in Freising, Bavaria. Before the Abbey was dissolved back in 1803, the monks who existed there brewed and sold beer.[21]

References:

  1. https://beerconnoisseur.com/blogs/20-interesting-facts-about-beer
  2. https://52brews.com/why-is-beer-called-beer/
  3. https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/news/health/2019/09/14/how-much-beer-did-the-average-person-drink-in-every-state/40109531/ 
  4. https://facts.net/beer-facts/
  5. https://www.history.com/news/who-invented-beer
  6. https://www.newsweek.com/most-popular-international-beers-international-beer-day-snow-corona-skoll-1616854
  7. https://luxatic.com/the-top-10-most-expensive-beers-in-the-world/#1_Arctic_Ale_By_The_Allsopp_8211_503300
  8. https://www.beerinstitute.org/industryinsights/economic-impact/#:~:text=The%20beer%20industry%20is%20a,billion%20to%20the%20U.S.%20economy.
  9. https://www.winemag.com/2020/09/03/most-popular-style-beer-guide/
  10. https://www.pilsen.eu/tourist/brewing/brewing-tradition/brewing-tradition.aspx
  11. https://www.craftbeerjoe.com/craft-beer-talk/what-is-craft-beer/
  12. https://www.soundbrewery.com/craft-beer-vs-regular-beer/
  13. https://www.businessinsider.com/the-history-of-beer-pong-2013-12
  14. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/women-used-dominate-beer-industry-until-witch-accusations-started-pouring-180977171/
  15. https://craftbeerclub.com/blog/post/what-is-zythology-197
  16. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/52941/25-amazing-facts-national-beer-day
  17. https://blog.britishmuseum.org/a-sip-of-history-ancient-egyptian-beer
  18. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/josephpriestleyoxygen.html
  19. https://toit.in/national-beer-day-britain/
  20. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0255833
  21. https://www.thechoppingblock.com/blog/drinking-beer-from-the-oldest-brewery-in-the-world-maybe