Beer is one of the most common beverages in the world, but here are some facts you probably didn't know about this popular beverage.
“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,” said Benjamin Franklin. Most beer drinkers would agree with him.
Check how many of the following facts you knew:
The first recipe
The earliest beer recipes are so old that they predate the birth of Christ by millennia.
According to an article on suite101, one of the earliest recognisable beer recipes come from the ancient Sumerian civilisation. The beer recipe itself was a hymn to the Sumerian goddess Ninkasi. The recipe was made out as a prayer because many of the people were illiterate, so it was a method for them to remember the recipe itself.
Women and beer
Historically, brewing beer was always a woman’s job. It was considered a very important and noble task. In ancient Peru, the breweries were staffed by women of the elite. The criteria used to choose the women was very strict - you had to be either of noble birth or extremely beautiful. “Brewster” is the correct term for a woman who brews beer.
In ancient Egypt there was a written law that prevented men from selling and making beer.
A flood of beer
St Giles in London was the victim of the world’s largest beer flood in history. According to www.bbc.co.uk, on 17 October 1814 the Meux’s Brewery Co Ltd on Tottenham Court Road, had a 1,2 million litre beer explosion that caused the deaths of nine people, the destruction of the brewery, two nearby brick houses and a pub. The sound of the explosion was so loud that it was heard over five miles away. Even though, the beer tsunami may have killed nine people and destroyed four buildings, but it brought joy to hundreds.
The most popular beers
Here's a list of the most popular beers in the world:
Canada: Labatt Blue
United Kingdom: Carling
Japan: Asahi Super Dry
Australia: Victoria Bitter
The most popular beer in South Africa, according to the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA), is Carling Black Label.
World’s most expensive beer
Vielle Bon Secours, is the world’s most expensive bottle of beer. This beer is so expensive that it is only sold in one bar, Bierdrome, in London. The funny thing about the R5,500 bottle of beer is people in the know say that apparently it does not taste all that great.
Beer equals energy
One bottle of beer equals the kilojoule value of approximately seven slices of bread. Now if you drank a whole six-pack of beers, you would have polished off just over two loaves of bread.
Weihenstephan brewery is the oldest brewery in the world and has been operating for almost a millennium. The building was founded in 740 AD and was originally a Benedictine monastery. It wasn’t until 1040 AD that the owners received the brewing licence. Now the building not only makes beer but also acts as a research centre for brewing technology.
The famous Inca beer
Chicha is a beer that is common in Latin America. This beer was traditionally made by Inca women. The weird thing about chicha is that it was usually made by little girls aged eight to 10. The girls would take corn and chew it until it turns to pulp. The pulp would then be added to the warm water and left to stand a few days before it can be consumed. These girls, called Acllas or Acllacunas, were sent to a school called Acllahuasis to learn how to brew chicha.
(Health24, Kyle Boshoff, updated February 2011)
(References: www.bbc.co.uk, www.msnbc.msn.com, www.dw-world.de, www.beverages.suite101.com, www.bootsnall.com, www.buzzle.com, beer-brewing.suite101.com)