Beer Trivia – 38 Interesting Quick Facts On Beer

Last Updated On: July 7, 2018

The following is a list of beer trivia. The list would surely enhance your knowledge of the world’s most popular alcoholic drink.

Beer History Facts

1. The Weihenstephan brewery in Munich, Germany was founded in 1040. It is the oldest continuously operating brewery in the world.(1,2,3)

Beer Trivia: Weihenstephan is the world's oldest continuously operating brewery.
Image credits: Eric Kilby/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

2. The builders of the Great Pyramids in Egypt earned four to five liters of beer daily for their work.(1,2,3)

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3. During the 13th century, parts of Norway used beer for children’s baptism. Reportedly, water shortage in such regions was the cause for using beer. In fact, Pope Gregory IX issued a law that made baptism with beer invalid.(1,2,3)

4. Beer production in Mesopotamia under King Hammurabi, the Babylonian ruler, became increasingly commercialized. As a result, the King set up strict regulations. Here are a few laws (paragraphs 108 to 110) from the Code of Hammurabi:

108
If a tavern-keeper (feminine) does not accept corn according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the corn, she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.

109
If conspirators meet in the house of a tavern-keeper, and these conspirators are not captured and delivered to the court, the tavern-keeper shall be put to death.

110
If a “sister of a god” open a tavern, or enter a tavern to drink, then shall this woman be burned to death.

The law 108 punished tavern keepers who cheated their customers by providing a lesser amount of beer for the amount paid, and accepted cash but not corn. The next law punished keepers that allowed troublemakers to enter their establishment. All these crimes were deemed punishable by death.(1,2,3)

5. Women were the first professional brewers of beer in history.(1,2,3)

6. On 17 October 1814, huge tanks containing beer in the Meux and Company Brewery in London cracked, consequently leaking over 323,000 gallons of beer on the streets. Also known as the London Beer Flood, the catastrophe killed eight people.(1,2,3)

7. When Niels Bohr won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922, brewing company Carlsberg gifted him a house next to their brewery. Moreover, the house had a beer tap connected to the brewery via pipeline. Hence, Niels Bohr could have a free beer when he wanted.(1,2,3)

8. In 1950, Carlsberg produced the Special Brew lager to honor the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s visit to Copenhagen in Denmark.(1,2,3)

9. Homebrewing in the U.S. became illegal during the Prohibition in 1920. On 14 October 1978, President Jimmy Carter approved the bill that made homebrewing legal and without federal taxation. The law became effective since 1979, and it sparked the U.S. craft beer industry.(1,2,3)

10. Table beer (1.5-2.5% ABV) was served in Belgian school refectories until the 1980s. In fact, at the start of the 21st century, a few bodies including the Limburg Beer Friends attempted to revive the custom, as they considered table beer to be healthier than soft drinks. However, all the schools declined to serve beer.(1,2,3)

11. Iceland banned alcohol consumption in 1915. While other alcoholic beverages became legal in subsequent decades, the law to overturn beer ban did not come out until 1 March 1989. Since then, Iceland celebrates 1 March as the Bjordagur or the “Beer day.” However, the celebrations nowadays for the event are not as pompous as in the 20th century.(1,2,3)

12. In 1963, Heineken created bottle designs that could serve as bricks. Eventually, in 1986, the bottles became the building blocks of a Buddhist temple in Thailand. The temple Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew is built of 1.5 million Heineken and local Chang beer bottles. Aptly, the building is called the “Temple of a Million Bottles.”(1,2,3,4)

Beer Records and Statistics

13. As per Wikipedia, beer ranks third in the most popular drinks worldwide. The top two are water and tea, respectively.

Beer Trivia: It is the third most popular drink worldwide.
Image credits: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

14. The “head balancer” John Evans achieved the feat of carrying 237 pints of beer on 28 June 2010. By doing so, he broke his own Guinness World Record of 235 pints, which he managed in 2002. Also, he balanced 275 beer-filled glasses at the Haifa Beer festival in Israel on 15 August 2013.(1,2,3)

15. Brewmeister’s “Snake Venom” is widely considered the strongest beer in the world. The beer, launched in 2013, has an extraordinarily high ABV of 67.5%.1The previous record-holder was also the Brewmeister release, “Armageddon” with a 65% ABV.(1,2,3)

16. As per the statistics that the Japanese beverage company Kirin recorded, Czech Republic consumes the highest amount of beer per capita.2In fact, the country topped the drinking charts for 23 consecutive years until 2015. The data for the year 2015 revealed that the Czechs consumed 142.4 liters of beer per person[latest statistics are unavailable].(1,2,3,4)

17. The Starkenberger Castle in Austria is home to the world’s first ever beer pools.(1,2,3)

18. As per reports, a 37-year old Scottish man drank 60 pints (about 35 liters) of beer in a four-day window. Hence, he suffered a hangover that lasted four weeks, probably the longest in history.(1,2,3)

19. Oktoberfest, held annually in Munich, Germany, is the world’s largest beer festival.3In fact, over 6 million people attend the 16-18 day event that runs during the September and October months.(1,2,3)

20. In the first-ever domestic flight hijacking in Norway, the 24-year old hijacker continuously demanded beer. Eventually, he became so drunk that he surrendered in return for more beer.(1,2,3)

21. U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Barack Obama made beer using personal breweries. However, Barack Obama is the first to get ale brewed in the White House. The former president used personal funds to buy a homebrewing kit. The first such brewed beer was the “White House Honey Ale.”(1,2,3,4,5)

Research and Studies on Beer

22. As per CJASN (Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology), sweetened soft drinks promote kidney stone formation. However, several other drinks reduce the risk of stone formation. Of these, researchers found that beer reduces the risk by 41% (highest of all other drinks). Also, note that the study assumes a moderate daily consumption of beer.(1)

23. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that modest intake of beer and other liquor could increase the bone material density (BMD) in men and women (post-menopause). Higher BMD was recorded in men and women consuming beer and wine, as compared to other liquor. However, high consumption of alcohol proved detrimental to the BMD.(1)

24. The sweet aroma of yeast in beer attracts slugs. In fact, some websites recommend a creative way to reduce the garden pests – place containers or cans filled with some beer in the soil. The slugs drown in them while attempting to drink.(1,2,3,4)

25. The study of beer and its brewing is called zythology. In Greek, “zûthos” means “beer” and “logía” translates to “study.”(1,2,3)

26. Marijuana and hops (used in beer brewing) share similarities at the molecular level. The hops belong to the Humulus genus, which falls under the same family as Cannabis – Cannabinaceae. The two have similar taste and smell. In fact, a group of molecular biologists researched the relationship in 2002, and the study confirmed similarities in the molecular structural features of the two.(1,2)

27. Hops are toxic to dogs. All the dog breeds may suffer from hop poisoning. But the ones prone to hyperthermia are more susceptible.(1,2,3)

28. The foam, known as the beer head, provides important information about the beer’s brewing. The head significantly impacts taste and aroma of the beer. Furthermore, a complete lack of foam may point to faulty brewing. Several studies have extensively researched the impact of the head on the beer.(1,2,3,4)

Beer facts: The foam can tell a lot about the beer.
Image credits: Max Pixel

29. The U.S. government set up nuclear explosions near commercially packed beverages including beer. It was a part of Operation Teapot, a series of nuclear tests conducted in Nevada. The 1957 study “The Effect of Nuclear Explosions on Commercially Packaged Beverages” concluded that beer is indeed safe.(1,2,3)

Miscellaneous Beer Trivia

30. Banana beer is a staple drink in East Africa. Mashed East African Highland bananas are fermented to produce the beverage.(1,2,3)

31. In 2010, brewing company BrewDog marketed £500 beer bottles stuffed inside dead animal bodies. The beer was named “The End of History.” The animals included squirrels, stoats, and hares, and the beer ABV was an astounding 55%. As per the company’s site, such bottles are no longer available.(1,2)

32. Beer cans in Japan have Braille labels. The labels on the top aid the visually impaired in telling apart a beer can from other canned drinks.(1,2,3,4)

Beer trivia: Japanese beer cans have Braille labels.
Image credits: Yosomono/Flickr CC BY 2.0

33. The Rainbow Foundation Project, a private organization, paid five beer cans, rolling tobacco half-packet, and ten euros to alcoholics for daily street cleaning in Amsterdam[as per several reports in 2013 and 2014]. The Dutch government partially funded the private organization.(1,2,3,4)

34. Journalist Michael J. Jackson is generally credited with the renewal of public interest in beer during the 1970s, especially in the USA. Jackson wrote several influential books on beer and whiskey, and his books have made over three million sales. Also, his TV series The Beer Hunter aired in 15 countries.(1,2,3)

35. “Fucking Hell” is a light German beer named after the village of Fucking in Austria. The word “hell” translates to “pale” in German. While initially controversial due to the obscenity, the German firm eventually won the naming rights. The lager is now internationally available.(1,2,3)

36. Russia did not consider beer (or any form of liquor with less than 10% ABV) as an alcoholic beverage until 2011. President Dmitry Medvedev4signed the bill in 2011 that classified beer as alcohol, which became effective in 2013.(1,2,3)

37. The Wife Carrying World Championship is a competition held annually in Finland since 1992. The male has to carry his female teammate through a track with hurdles as fast as possible. In the end, the winner receives beer equivalent to the wife’s weight.(1,2,3)

38. In the advertisements for beer and other liquor companies, people are never shown drinking liquor. The rule is a self-imposed one. In fact, there are no government laws that disallow drinking alcohol in ads. However, the liquor companies want to ensure that their advertisements air globally and without controversy.(1,2)


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