Ah, beer. One of the world’s greatest gifts to humankind. But what goes into those beautiful brown bottles of bubbly? And how can we put its importance into context? It’s important to know the process behind the magic so we can truly appreciate every sip of an ice-cold brew. Read on for a few things you may not have known about beer.
Beer is the third most-popular drink in the world
The only things that beat it out were water and tea, but I think it was a close call with tea.
Water in certain regions is better for brewing beer
Which is why certain countries are known for their above-grade brews. Dublin, Ireland, for instance, has a mineral-rich hard water that’s perfect for stouts (hello, Guinness!), whereas the Czech Republic has a much softer water that is perfect for its Pilsner Urquells.
Facial hair is beer’s worst enemy
In Great Britain, it’s estimated that over 93,000 liters of beer are lost in facial hair each year. Fantastic, but really, really gross.
Cenosillicaphobia is a real thing
And it’s the fear of an empty beer glass. Hey, we’ve all been there.
Historically, beer brewers were usually women
Beer has been traced back to 6000 B.C. in Babylonia, where women were the masters behind the brewing. It was considered a noble task, so only the elite had the privilege of making up batches. There was even a law that prohibited men from selling or making beer!
Beer can help prevent kidney stones
Seriously. For middle-aged men, it was found that each bottle of beer consumed each day was estimated to reduce the risk of kidney stones by 40 percent. Not sure if that study was paid for by Budweiser, but it was conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology, so it has at least some truth involved.
The first drunk-driving incident was recorded in 2000 B.C.
A charioteer in ancient Egypt ran down a vestal virgin of the Goddess Hathor. Not sure exactly what that means, but it was bad enough to have him crucified on the door of the bar that sold him the beer, and his bones remained there to warn others against committing the same crime.
Ants are much nicer to their drunken friends than humans
18th-century naturalist John Lubbock conducted numerous studies on ants that he had fed beer, and found that the sober ants would help carry their drunk friends back home to the nest. If only your roommates were as kind.
Beer can actually help with nutrition
Beer contains nearly all of the minerals that we need to survive, so it was often consumed in the Middle Ages to make up for the lack of other options. Adults and children alike would drink beer, not to get drunk, but for their health. Ah, the good old days.
Ben Franklin once said, “Beer is proof that God loves us”
And if that doesn’t sum it all up, I don’t know what does.