Did You Know?

Fascinating Beer Facts to impress your mates

A giant goat whose udders provided an endless supply of beer is what Vikings thought awaited them in Valhalla, the Viking heaven. Most 4% abv beers are made up of 95% water, 1% a myriad of flavour components generated from the raw materials (malted barley/cereals, hops and yeast). Oh, and 4% alcohol.

Fascinating Beer Facts

Most 4% abv beers are made up of 95% water, 1% a myriad of flavour components generated from the raw materials (malted barley/cereals, hops and yeast). Oh, and 4% alcohol.

What is a unit of alcohol? One unit is 10 ml or 8 grams of pure alcohol. The number of units of alcohol in a drink can be calculated using the following formula: (Volume (ml) x %alcohol)/ 1000. So a small glass of 8% abv wine (e.g. Hock/ Mosel from Germany) would be one unit, whilst a big 175ml glass of red wine of 12% abv is 2.1 units.

For beer, we don’t have the same proliferation of glass sizes and this makes calculations easier. A half pint of 4% abv beer is 1.1 units, whilst a pint of 5% premium lager or ale uses 2.84 units. (www.drinkaware.co.uk for further info)

The ‘beer belly’ is a myth. Scientists at the University of London showed that moderate beer drinkers are no more prone to developing a belly than anyone else. But many beer drinkers eat too much fatty food (a packet of peanuts contains over three times more calories than a pint of beer!) and take insufficient exercise. Or they simply drink too much.

Contrary to popular misconception (that mainstream lagers are somehow chemically brewed) all lagers, ales, milds and stouts basically share the same brewing process. All beers are brewed from malted barley (and can include other cereals such as maize, wheat or rice), which is ground up and left in hot water to allow the barley’s enzymes to break down their starch and protein. This releases soluble sugars and amino acids, which the yeast will later convert to alcohol and carbon dioxide. This brew is then drained off and boiled with hops to extract the hops’ bitterness and aromas. This liquid is then cooled and the lager or ale yeast is mixed with it so as to ferment it and change it into alcohol. Hey presto, we have young beer, which contains very little free sugars, as these are converted into alcohol during fermentation.

A labeorphilist is someone who collects beer bottles

Someone who collects beer mats, however, is known as a tegestologist.

To prevent a beer mat sticking to the bottom of your beer glass, sprinkle a little salt on it. The beer mat that is, not the beer.

The oldest known recipe in the world is for beer.

Madonna’s favourite beer is Timothy Taylor Landlord

The distinctive red triangle associated with Bass Ale is the oldest trademark in Britain. Adorned on a bottle, it can be seen in Edouard Manet’s 1882 painting Bar at the Folies-Bergère as well as more than 40 Cubist paintings by Picasso.

People from the Czech Republic drink more beer per head than any other nation. When the Czechs were part of Czechoslovakia, it was the Irish that held the crown.

Up until relatively recently, doctors would often prescribe small amounts of beer to pregnant women as a rich source of nutrients and iron.

In Ancient Egypt, two containers of beer were the minimum wage for a day’s labour. Egyptians used beer as a currency to pay slaves, tradesmen, priests, and public officials alike, which means that every Egyptian was entitled to a certain amount of daily beer. This quantity was strictly regulated, even at the highest level. A queen was entitled to 10 loaves of bread and two crocks of beer a day. This allotment must have been of tremendous importance, because it was usually guaranteed to her by her pharaoh-husband as part of her marriage contract. A princess also got 10 loaves, but she had to wash them down with only one crock of free beer a day. An officer of the guard, on the other hand, who might be called upon to defend both the queen and the princess, fared better than either: He got 20 loaves and two crocks. Even the daily ration of the slaves who built the pyramids, as well as the pay of all low-level officials, included two to three loaves of bread and two crocks of brew, and it was not up to the master’s whim whether or not a slave got his beer: The nectar of the gods (as they believed it to be) was even a slave’s entitlement.

Beer became so popular in ancient Egypt that no ruler dared to put a tax on it that is, until the middle of the last century B.C, probably around 35 BC. When her coffers would yield no more, Cleopatra resorted to the ultimate insult: She slapped a tax on beer, the people’s drink, ostensibly to curb public drunkenness, but in reality to build more naval galleys! Thus, she is credited with the dubious achievement of having invented not only the alcohol tax, but also its most perennial and insincere excuse. To beer lovers, her beer tax is her most enduring legacy and set a trend that has survived the rise and fall of many a civilization.

If you thought the British Government were tough on pubs, check this: In ancient Mesopotamia (Iraq in new money), tavern owners found guilty of overcharging patrons for beer were put to death by drowning.

Jewellers often use beer to authenticate the clarity and purity diamonds. When dropped into beer, diamonds reflect light.

The first beer cans were produced in 1935.

George Washington had his own brewhouse on the grounds of Mount Vernon.

The Egyptian pyramids were built on beer. Stonecutters, slaves and public officials were paid in a type of beer called ‘kash’.

The reason that European beer steins traditionally have lids dates back to the days of the plague. Drinkers didn’t want the deadly bugs to fall in their beer.

A giant goat whose udders provided an endless supply of beer is what Vikings thought awaited them in Valhalla, the Viking heaven.

The term “the real McCoy” derives from Jim McCoy, a Prohibition-era bootlegger whose beers were impressively similar in taste to the real brands.

The Weihenstephan Brewery in Bavaria, brewing since 1040, is the world’s oldest running brewery.

The Japanese delicacy Kobe beef is made from cows that have been massaged in beer.

In China, you can buy beer in plastic bags

Health Facts

Beer contains zero fat and zero cholesterol not even a teeny-weeny bit

According to scientists at the University of London, moderate beer drinkers are no more prone to developing a belly than anyone else. It’s not the beer that’s the problem, it’s the alcohol (and you get that it in lots of drinks). The confusion lies in the fact that, after drinking more, things looks more attractive – whether it’s a dishy member of the opposite sex or a packet of peanuts (which contains over three times more calories than a pint of beer).

When either give you the glad-eye, it’s hard to resist temptation. But if you do resist, do some regular exercise and drink sensibly, beer won’t worry your waistline.

Researchers at Harvard in America have shown that it is moderate alcohol consumption that protects against heart disease, whether it is red wine or beer. So, as the health impact of any alcoholic drink is due to the combined effects of the components in the drink, it is useful to understand how beer is made.

In nutritional terms beer is fat free, low in free sugar and low in alcohol compared with other alcoholic drinks.

Beer was historically known as ‘liquid bread’ because of all the good it did for the body and for the soul. Consumed in moderation, it still can.

There used to be an advert that claimed “Guinness is Good For You”.

Scientists have found that beer increases the amount of “HDL cholesterol” (the good cholesterol) in the bloodstream, which reduces the risk of coronary disease.

Barley arms beer with a rich source of soluble fibre. Just two glasses of beer can provide up to more than 30% of your required daily fibre intake. Fibre keeps you regular, it aids digestion, slows down the absorption of food and keeps cholesterol levels down.

You can get antioxidants in lots of thing but the ones in beer, which are plentiful, are more readily absorbed than those in red wine and food.

Beer is rich in all sorts of Vitamin B – niacin… riboflavin… Pyridoxine… folate… cobalamin, they’re all in beer, just waiting to make your body happier.

Like bananas, but less popular with monkeys, beer is high in potassium. This keeps the heart ticking, the bones clicking and the bowels bricking. It’s great stuff.

Sticking hops under your pillow is a much better way of getting some kip than counting sheep or watching Open University. Thanks to the high levels of Dimothylvinyl carbinol, hops are a lovely herbal sedative and an awesome antidote to insomnia. Best when dried.

Hoppy beers make for a great digestif. According to French boffins, hops help relax the lining of the digestive tract.

The water and barley found in beer is an awesome antidote to osteoporosis. Stacked with silicon, the beer ingredients strengthen your bones and make them healthy.

Calorie Counting, word up weight watchers! Pints can still be part of your plan.

You could count the calories in a half-pint of beer (4%) on one hand. Assuming, that is, you had 95 fingers. Even so, beer is nowhere near as calorific as you’d think. A pint of beer has fewer calories than a pint of orange juice and a pint of milk. A 250ml glass of wine has 193 calories, a half a pint of cola hits you with 136 calories while a double gin and tonic and a Pina Colada will send your calorie count soaring by 171 and 262 calories respectively.

Beer Quotes

“Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.”

Homer Simpson AKA writer Dan Castellaneta, “The Simpsons ” – US television series

“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”

Frank Zappa, American composer, satirist and song writer 1940-1993

“God has a brown voice as soft and full as beer”

Anne Sexton, American Writer 1928–1974

“Make sure that the beer – four pints a week – goes to the troops under fire before any of the parties in the rear get a drop.”

Winston Churchill, 62nd Prime Minister of the UK (to his Secretary of War) 1874-1965

“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.”

Queen Victoria, British Monarch 1819–1901

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America 1809-1865

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza”

Dave Barry, American Humor Columnist 1947–

“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.”

Saint Arnold of Metz, Austrian patron Saint of Brewers & Bishop 580-640

“Prohibition makes you want to cry into your beer and denies you the beer to cry into.”

Don Marquis, American journalist, humorist & playwright 1878–1937

“Beer, it’s the best damn drink in the world”

Jack Nicholson, American actor, writer & film director 1937-

“Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.”

Dave Barry, American Humor Columnist 1947–

“He was a wise man who invented beer.”

Plato, Philosopher 427–347 BC

“Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.”

Anonymous

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America 1809-1865

“A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.”

Czech Proverb

“No, sir: There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.”

Samuel Johnson, Writer 1709–1784

“Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world”

Kaiser Wilhelm, German Emperor 1859-1941

“Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.”

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The Bar at the Folies-Bergeres, by Edouard Manet

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