Have you ever wanted to learn more about beer?
Maybe you’re a fanatic and want to expand your knowledge. Or maybe you’re just looking for something fun to talk about with a friend over a couple of cold ones!
Either way, the following article contains some interesting facts about one of our favorite drinks.
Beer is the oldest alcoholic beverage
While it is impossible to say exactly when and where beer was discovered, we know that it has been brewed for thousands of years and that women were most likely involved in its creation. The earliest known mention of beer dates back to 4,000 BC and comes from a Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl.
Today, there are over 500 commercial breweries in the US alone – producing more than 2,500 different types of beers! That’s why it is not easy to pinpoint exactly where beer was first developed. But we do know that it most likely started in Ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia between 9,000 and 6,000 BC.
There are over 2,000 different types of beer in the world
These days, you can sample more than 2,000 different types of beers from countries all over the world. While we may not know which country first created beer, we do know that some ingredients used to make it likely originated in what is modern-day Ethiopia and Western China.
Beer may have been invented by women because it was safer to drink than water at that time
Back in ancient times, water was often too dirty to drink. As a result, beer became the beverage of choice for many people because the fermentation process helped remove toxins from the bacteria-ridden water.
Since women were responsible for creating the first batches of beer, it is believed that they passed down this knowledge from generation to generation until men eventually took over the task of beer brewing.
Beer was banned from the Olympics until 1988 and then only allowed for non-competitors
During the early years of the ancient Olympic Games, a mixture of barley, water, and honey called Zythos or ‘beer’ was used in the place of wine to represent a sacrifice to Zeus. While this beverage may have been used to represent a sacrifice, the Greek writer Eubulus believed it also represented more than just a prayer and praised its intoxicating power.
Despite this strong association with festivities and merriment, beer was actually banned from the Olympics in 6 AD by Emperor Theodosius I because he believed that it promoted debauchery and was a threat to his Christian values. Not until 1988 were non-competing athletes permitted to drink beer during the Games and only after much controversy.
In some countries, such as Denmark and Sweden, you can buy alcohol on Sundays while others like Saudi Arabia don’t allow any alcohol consumption whatsoever.
In Denmark and Sweden, you can’t buy liquor or spirits on certain days of the week. However, you can buy beer and wine every day of the week except for Sunday when it is illegal to sell alcohol.
In contrast, in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, there is no such thing as a dry day. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be consumed by anyone at any time, even if they are not directly participating in a festive occasion. So the next time you share Melvin Brewing with your buddies, be thankful that you live in a country where beer is readily available.
The average person consumes 103 gallons of beer a year
That’s right, you read that correctly – 103 gallons of beer per person per year. And if you are 18-29 years old, the number climbs to 119 gallons! Now, this information does not indicate whether people drink hard liquor or consume other forms of alcohol in addition to just beer.
But using these numbers as a guide, it can be concluded that the average person consumes just over a case of beer per week.
Which country drinks the most beer per person? Luxembourg! How about Germany? That’s right – they came in second place with just under 126 gallons consumed per person each year.
So next time you are planning to have a beer with your buddies, be thankful that you live in a country where beer is readily available and the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man.