Awesome Facts About Beer!
Ever wondered if beer expires, which country consumes the most beer, the most expensive beer ever sold or beer tourism? Here are some crazy facts on beer, the third most consumed drink in the world and the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world.
China was the leading Beer consuming country in the world and has been since 2003. They consumed 39.2 million litres of beer in 2019 followed by the USA with 23.9 million litres. But the leading country in highest consumption per person is the Czech Republic and have held this title for close to 30 years. They consumed approximately 188 litres per person per year in 2019 which is double the volume of the second highest Austria which is at 107 litres per person per year. It could be because the beer is cheap; cheaper than soda, coffee or even bottled water.
Beer Museums and Experiences for Beer Tourism.
The Czech Republic do love their beer. They love it so much they were the first country to have a beer museum. Well now, there are about 10 beer museums and experience centers from the USA to Asia. The most popular are the Sapporo Beer Museum in Sapporo, Japan; Bruges Beer Experience in Bruges, Belgium; and the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum in Munich. Although you can find at least 4 museums in the US: in Wisconsin, Milwaukee, San Diego, Honolulu; and even in Dublin, Ireland for Guinness. You can have guided tours, the history of your favourite brands, audio visual and interactive displays, kid friendly sections and most importantly beer tasting. There are also Beer tours of significant cities. This only a fraction of the Beer travel or beer tourism as visit local Beirgartens is one way or experiencing local love for their beers and some history.
Czech Republic and Beer go Hand in Hand!
Do you know most popular brands like Budweiser, Heineken, Corona, Coors, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and many more are Pilsner beers. It is the most popular style of beer, in over 100 styles, and it is often called the brewers beer. Pilsner beers are pale lagers and the brewing process originated from… you guessed it, Czech Republic. Pilsner is named after the city it came from Plzeň; here brewers discovered a bottom fermenting yeast in the 19th century, that produced the golden beer that tases different from the top fermenting ales. The original Budweiser was made in Czech Republic as well (and the name has Czech origins) It is different from the American Budweiser and there has been a long-standing legal dispute since 1907. When it comes to the Czech Republic and Beer, we could write a full article and then some. So, we will leave it here for now.
… As does Belgium too.
Even though China has the most beer drinkers, and Czech Republic has the highest consumption per person, Belgium is considered the capital city of beers. They brew up to 600 beers and have a Beer Pipeline. The world’s first modern (and still, only) beer pipeline which opened in 2016; it is 2 miles long, underground, and connects the brewery to a bottling plant. They may have to share this title with others soon as craft beer makers are considering replicating this.
Study Beer if you are so Inclined.
There is a beer university! It is virtual and Japanese! It was established in 2001 and you can take a wide variety of courses from ‘how to brew beer’ to ‘how to enjoy beer’. There are even topics on Beer manners and Beer terminology. Even though it seems to be for fun a lot of information can be used for research. It is brought to us by Kirin, the same people who have the most compete and accurate data on beer consumption worldwide. But if you want to study beer formally, even though you do not need it to be able to brew beer at home, the study of beer is Zymology. Just check for it at any university of your choice.
Beer for the Strong.
Snake Venom is popularly the strongest beer in the world with 67.5% by volume, higher than most liquors that have an average ABV of 40%. It retails for between $76 – 140 per bottle and is brewed by Brewmeister in the UK. It is not sold in many countries around the world event thought the company exports 90% of its production. It cannot be carbonated because of the high alcohol content and the brewery recommend drinking it as shots and not more than a bottle per sitting. Before Snake Venom came along there was a Rivalry between breweries BrewDog and Schorschbrau since 2009. They one upped each other from 32% ABV to finally collaborating in September of 2020 to produce a beer called Strength in Numbers that is 57.8% ABV. It sold out almost immediately and no news on new production has been released since. No one believes this the last we would hear from BrewDog
Can Beer go Bad?
No, but the taste is impacted over time depending on how well you store it. It is generally accepted you can still drink beer stored at room temperature 6 to 9 months after its use by date and up to 2 years if it has been refrigerated. Generally, beer should be kept from light and heat which promote the staleness of a beer and make it taste funny. The longer beer is stored the ‘flatter’ it gets, so if you are big on taste and quality you should drink beer as quickly as you can.
The $500,000 Beer
The most expensive beer in the world is not a craft beer even though they are pricier than commercial beers. It is beer brewed specially for an expedition to the Antarctic region in 1852 by Allsopp called Arctic Ale. It was brewed in limited quantities and is now a collector’s item and a bottle sold for $503,300. The lucky seller found the tipple on eBay under a misspelling of the brewery name; this seller bought it for $304 and relisted it again on eBay under its correct name and secured a winning bid of over $500,000. Limited beers tend to sell for astronomical prices.
Oktoberfest started in Munich in 1810, then in Bavaria and was a celebration of the crown prince of Bavaria’s wedding. It was five days long and did not have beer till 8 years later in 1818. Today it is a 2-week-long event with so many attractions including music, costumes, parades and floats, unbelievable consumption of chicken, lots of beer and so much more. It is the biggest festival in the world. The largest gathering for the Oktoberfest is a record 7.1million visitors in 1985 but now several cities around the world host their own festivals with the largest outside of Germany being in Kitchener-Waterloo in Canada. Now in its 211th year (2021) Oktoberfest has only been cancelled 25 times; the latest cancellation due to the COVID 19 pandemic. And there is already a date set for 2021, fingers crossed!
Beer and Covid19.
With most countries going into various degrees of lockdown due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021; restaurants, bars and entertainment centres have been closed at various times. One would think this would reduce alcohol consumption. Even with the WHO guidelines saying alcohol can reduce a one’s immunity, millennials are consuming more beer. But specifically, alcohol-free beer. A survey showed that consumers were looking for all the good experiences of having a beer without the consequences of hangovers and bad decisions. It also ties into people being more health conscious during lockdown, increased exercise and healthy cooking which has led to more people cutting back on their alcoholic intake. And surveys show this trend is likely to continue even as restrictions are lifted. The latest news also states it is safe to have a beer after a Covid19 vaccine shot.
Beer and your health
Do you know drinking beer can reduce the risk of kidney stones, lower the risk of coronary heart disease, ishemic stroke, developing type 2 diabetes and ulcers? It can also increase good cholesterol, protect the body from radiation and stimulate clear thinking in old age. Drinking Stout (specifically Guinness) is associated with fighting cancer. Is this the secret the Czech, Chinese and Belgians know but do not share? Next time anyone tries to guilt you for enjoying a glass of your favourite beer responsibly, tell them it is helping you stay sharp and live longer. Afterall, there are beer spas in Austria and Belgium, it is great for the skin.
Beer for Alcoholics and Children?
If you are ever in Amsterdam and see a little picker it is likely they are being paid with about 8 cans of beer, free lunch and about 11 Euros. It might be the dream job of the beer lover, well, most extreme beer lovers. It is a program run by a government funded organisation ‘Rainbow Foundation’ and was started in 2012. It is done to give addicts a chance to work and keep them busy. But giving alcoholics beer is questionable by many and the project is controversial but there is a waiting list of applicants and the streets seem to be cleaner. The foundation makes it clear that it is a cleaning project and they pay for the beer from their internal revenue. Another questionable beer choice is serving beer to children. This is not only allowed but encouraged in Belgium where children can drink low alcohol content (1.5% – 2.5%) beers. This was even proposed as part of school programmes to fight childhood obesity by replacing sugary sodas with beer. The beer program was tested, and the children seemed to like it, but parents stopped it from becoming a permanent thing. Although giving beer to young ones is a personal choice in the country. This can be traced back to a time when beer was safer than drinking water which was contaminated.
Cheers to a Beerilicious Article!
Which was your favourite crazy fact on beer? Do you have any fact we could use in a future piece? Let us know!