In honor of the world’s largest beer festival, Oktoberfest, being held this week through early October in Munich, Germany, here’s a rundown of beer facts most people don’t know. There is likely to be some trivia and statistics that could make even a teetotaler tipsy.
Over six million people from around the world are in Munich now to celebrate beer. But there are no worries, if one can’t make it to Germany. At any given moment, 0.7 percent of the world population is drunk. In fact, as this article is being read (smashed or sober) about 50 million people are drunk right now. There is little dispute by any expert that beer is a main contributor to drunkenness.
Americans can be particularly proud of their heritage when it comes to beer. The “Father of Our Country,” and first United States president George Washington had his own brewhouse on the grounds of his beloved home, Mount Vernon. He also insisted his Continental Army be permitted a quart of beer as part of their daily rations.
It was the great American patriot, Benjamin Franklin, according to brewery tee-shirts, in his vast wisdom raised a mug and toasted the famous words, “Beer is proof that God love us and wants us to be happy.” But since we are dealing with facts here, Franklin never actually said that. It was probably made up by someone who had a few too many beers while trying to remember his actual quote:
“Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”
America, is just behind China (who has about a billion more people) in the race for which country drinks the most beer annually. Calculating the population of drinker’s consumption in all 50 states totals 49 billion pints. If Washington D.C. is added, that’s another 1 billion pints, pushing the America over the 50 billion mark. Beer commercials in the US aren’t permitted to show people truly drinking the beer on television.
If it wasn’t for beer in America we may not have ever experienced knowing the Marines, Southwest Airlines, the Pet Rock, or Shark Week.
It was Nov. 10, 1775 that Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern hosted a committee of the Continental Congress with the mission of establishing sea and shore Battalions of men to fight for independence. Almost two hundred years later, in 1966, lawyer Herb Kelleher, air service commuter Rollin King, and a banker drew up the idea for Southwest Airlines on a cocktail napkin in a San Antonio bar. Gary Dhal, during a bar discussion about the commitment required to care of pets, decided on writing The Pet Rock Training Manual. He sold rocks for $3.95 each soon after. How was the idea of Shark Week derived? Over some beer.
Most recent data reveals that if all the beer consumed in the United States were to be contained in one keg, the container would have to be 1,439 feet tall, 870 feet wide and weigh 66 billion pounds. Only China is has a greater thirst, but they also have an extra billion people’s thirst to quench so with only one fourth of the population, we certainly hold our own. If all that beer was contained in 12 oz. cans, it would take 67 billion of them. When stacked on top of one another, the beer cans could reach the Moon twenty times over by reaching 4.8 million miles in space. If we circled the earth at the equator with these cans, we would have enough to reach around the globe 185 times. The moon has a crater named Beer.
Other unique information about beer includes these facts:
- After water and tea, beer is the most consumed drink on earth. It’s the most popular alcoholic drink in existence.
- Most people who drink beer claims it makes them far more intelligent and helps promote dancing without music. Test show these people have difficulty with spelling the word “intelligent” with the most common attempt being “intellijant.”
- The oldest drinkable beer was found a shipwreck near Finland in 2010. It was preserved in the cold deep depths of the water. Tasters said the 19th-century beer had the flavor of burnt notes and an acidic aftertaste. Five bottles are being examined and analyzed with the intention of duplicating a recipe to brew under the brand new “Shipwreck Beer.”
- Beer can prevent kidney stones and strengthens bones. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology says one bottle daily reduces risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia by 40%. Beer is rich in silicon that increases calcium deposits and minerals for bone tissue.
- The first beer can out the year Elvis Presley was born in 1935.
- For cleaning their city streets, Amsterdam pays alcoholics with 10 Euros, half a packet of rolling tobacco and 5 beers each work day.
- Several streets of London were flooded with almost 400,000 gallons of beer in 1814 when a large vat ruptured in the parish of St. Giles.
- The most expensive is common identified as Westvleteren 12, a dark brew with a touch of chocolate taste and 10.2 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). It costs about $70 per six pack. But that is even close to the real most expensive beer. Only one bar in the world, Bierdrome, in London, sells Bielle Bon Secours at $1,000 per bottle.
- American states that consume the most beer per capita are led by North Dakota (45.8) gallons each person), New Hampshire (43.9), Montana (41), South Dakota (38.9), Wisconsin (36.2) , Vermont, (35.3) Nebraska (35.2), Nevada (35.2), Texas (34.4), and Maine (34).
- The constructors of the Great Pyramid of Giza were paid with a daily ration of beer and three mails each day.