In America, when you turn 21—the legal age at which you can consume alcohol—you’ll usually celebrate it by buying your very first drink. And for most, that first drink will likely be cheap and easy to swallow, like beer. Sure, you might enjoy a fancy cocktail or a glass of wine, but there’s something special about beer that just can’t be denied.
Chances are you’ve enjoyed more than a few different styles and brands of beer. You might have a favorite, or you might love it enough that you aren’t particular about it at all. But even the biggest beer lovers in the world won’t know these 25 facts! Go ahead and test your knowledge…
1. The annual Wife Carrying World Championships is a race where men do exactly as the title of the race might indicate. What do the winners get for a prize for first place? Their wife’s weight in beer, of course!
2. People are always looking for new ways to enjoy beer. In 2010, deep-fried beer won a ribbon for the most creative food served at the Texas State Fair! Sorry kids; this treat was still meant for adults only.
3. Do you know which states knock back the most beer? Here are the top five in order of beer consumption: North Dakota, New Hampshire, Montana, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Now you know where to book your next vacation!
4. Whenever you look at the Great Pyramids of Giza, try to remember that if it wasn’t for beer, the pharaohs would’ve had no tombs! That’s because each person who worked to build the Great Pyramids were paid in a daily ration of brewskis.
5. The English-speaking world loves to booze it up with beer so much that there’s even a word—coined in the 19th century—for a vacation dedicated to down the stuff. It’s called an alcoholiday!
6. It turns out that liking beer is one of the most patriotic things a person can do. Thomas Jefferson himself wrote portions of the Declaration of Independence while drinking in a local Philadelphia tavern.
7. Germany loves beer so much that its people actually have a pipeline of the stuff! In the Veltsins Arena, the taps are all connected by over three miles of piping. So much beer, so little time!
8. Even America’s first president, George Washington, knew that beer was essential to keeping up morale. He insisted that the men in his army be given no less than a quart of beer a day.
9. People can find inspiration in all sorts of different places—even with their favorite beer. When J. K. Rowling was writing Harry Potter, she invented the game of Quidditch while out drinking at a pub!
10. When Bavarian Beer Week started in Germany, they found a new way to up their beer-obsessed antics. They actually built a public fountain that gives out free beer to all who pass by!
11. Humanity’s obsession with beer is not exactly something new. In medieval Europe, it was a totally normal thing to start your day off with a piping hot bowl of beer soup. Doesn’t sound too bad, really…
12. The people of Texas love and respect those who can hold down their beer. If you’re ever in doubt of this fact, never forget that in the 1980s, a small Texas town actually elected a beer-drinking goat mayor.
13. How much do human beings love beer? They scream it from the rooftops—and spaceships, apparently. One of the Moon’s craters stands out from the crowd: it was actually officially named “Beer.”
14. In certain parts of the world, beer isn’t just a drink—it’s a way of life. Take Russia and Belarus, for instance. The Beer Lovers Party was an actual political group that presented candidates for office in the 1990s.
15. Oktoberfest, the popular German celebration marked by the consumption of epic amounts of beer, was actually established in 1810. The reason? To celebrate the marriage of a German prince. Cheers!
16. If it wasn’t for beer, oxygen might never have been discovered! Joseph Priestley noticed gases rising from big vats of brewing beer and decided to conduct a series of experiments.
17. Germany isn’t the only place in Europe where beer is celebrated openly. In spas all over the continent, you can actually bathe in beer to restore the body and, some say, the soul itself! Just don’t drink that bathwater…
18. Sometimes beer can be useful in ways no one predicted. There is a Buddhist temple in Thailand that is actually made of more than one million recycled beer bottles. Fingers crossed they rinsed them all out first!
19. During World War II, a bear named Wojtek was recruited by the Polish army. He loved bringing his comrades ammunition during big shoot-outs… provided he was rewarded for his efforts with plenty of beer.
20. If you’re really passionate about beer, you might consider becoming an astronaut. A cloud near the constellation Aquila has enough ethyl alcohol inside of it to fill 400 trillion trillion—yes, you read that correctly—pints of beer!
21. Did you know that there are people who love beer so much that they actually develop a phobia after seeing an empty beer glass? It’s true. There’s a medical word for it and everything—cenosillicaphobia!
22. Plenty of American presidents liked to tie one on. After ending Prohibition, Franklin D. Roosevelt made a speech to the nation including the words, “What the nation needs now is a drink!”
23. Franklin D. Roosevelt wasn’t the only major world leader with opinions about Prohibition. English Prime Minister Winston Churchill called Prohibition “an affront to the entire history of mankind.”
24. Throughout history, people have taken beer very seriously. How seriously, you ask? Well, in the ancient text Hammurabi’s Code, bartenders who were found to be watering down beer were to be executed. Yikes!
25. You might not consider beer to be the thinking man’s libation, but you’d be wrong. After winning the Nobel prize, Niels Bohr was gifted with a never-ending supply of beer that was piped directly into his home.
Who knew that there were so many weird facts about one simple fermented drink? Beer seems downright historic after reading a truly epic list like this one.
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