Historically and culturally, people of all walks of life have loved beer. After water, it is the second-most famous drink of all time. However, what is it about beer that makes it a timeless drink? Find out more about this beverage with these beer facts.
- Around the world, humans consume over 50 billion gallons of beer every year.
- Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic drink on the planet.
- The oldest beer brewery dates back to 1040.
- Dating back to 5,000 BC, beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world.
- Budweiser is the word’s most famous beer.
- Beer’s core ingredients are grains, hops, yeast, and water.
- The earliest evidence of beer brewing came from Ancient Egypt.
- The Czech Republic consumed 2,033 million liters of beer in 2018.
- China is the world’s biggest beer producer with over 47 million kiloliters per year.
- The U.S. ranks second in beer production at over 23 million kiloliters of beer per year.
- Ale and lager are the two major types of beers.
- Lager is a type of beer that is produced at low temperatures.
- On the other hand, Ale is a type of beer that is produced from the warm fermentation method.
- Beer is part of the world’s culture and it comes with traditions such as beer festivals.
- The oldest archaeological evidence of fermentation is 13,000 years old.
- The Czech Republic was the first country to have a beer museum.
- Ancient Sumerians produced beer from malt and bread.
- McDonald’s sells beer on its menu in many countries such as France, Germany, Portugal, and South Korea.
- ‘Snake Venom’ is the strongest beer in the world with 67.5% alcohol by volume.
- The Snake Venom has a steep retail price of $76 to $140 per bottle compared to a common beer that ranges from a dollar or two.
Beer Facts Infographics
The word's most expensive beer costs $503,300.
Snake Venom holds the title for the strongest beer in the world, but it is not the world’s most expensive beer. Instead, the world’s most expensive beer to date is Allsopp’s Arctic Ale, retailing for $503,300. This beer was brewed in 1875 for an Antarctic expedition, which makes it a collector’s item. Although it’s not for consumption anymore due to the long steeping period, over 50 different bidders from eBay fought for it.
The United States has a National Beer Day.
National Beer Day is celebrated yearly in the United States on the 7th of April. This event commemorates the signing of the Cullen-Harrison Act, which allowed the distribution and sale of beer in 1933.
In Amsterdam, the government gives alcoholic people incentives.
The alcoholic locals of Amsterdam earn a beer by cleaning the streets. For a whole day of work, the government gives them five cans of beer, cigarettes, and 11 Euros. The Amsterdam government used this plan so that even an alcoholic person can be productive and help the country in little ways.
Japan celebrates its 'BeerFes' annually.
Since 1998, Tokyo has held the annual Great Japan Beer Festival also known as BeerFes. Japan’s BeerFes is the biggest craft beer festival in the country. It offers a variety of beers, custom-designed beer glasses, as well as ‘all-you-can-drink’ beer tastings depending on the strength of the beer.
Japan has different beer festivals.
Tokyo, Okinawa, Osaka, Nagoya, and Yokohama celebrates its Beer Festival on different dates. For instance, Tokyo will celebrate on the 6th of June. Okinawa celebrates on June 12th, while Osaka’s beer festival falls on July 10th. Finally, Nagoya celebrates on August 8th, and Yokohama’s beer festival is held on September 12th. Makes sense, since no one wants the entire country to get drunk in one day.
Hong Kong celebrates the Lan Kwai Fong Music and Beer Fest every April.
The history of beer in Hong Kong dates back to the mid-19th century, during the rise of local brands and breweries. Hong Kong celebrates the Lan Kwai Fong Music and Beer Fest every April in over 70 restaurants at its most popular party area along with international cuisine and entertainment.
The Philippines celebrates its Oktoberfest every year.
Originating from Germany, the yearly celebration has been certified as an official Filipino fiesta by the Department of Tourism since 2005. The fiesta debuted in October 1982, and it’s now the longest-running beer and music festival in the Philippines. It was established by San Miguel, the leading beer company in the Philippines.
The Philippines produces high-quality premium beers.
San Miguel was founded in the year 1890 as a single brewery in the Philippines under La Fabrica de Cerveza de San Miguel. It was Southeast Asia’s first brewery that produced commercial beer. San Miguel’s products became the best-selling beer in the Philippines and earned a place among the top beer brands in the world.
Every year, Germany organizes the biggest beer festival in the world.
Germany’s Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (beer/wine festival and a traveling funfair). The country holds the event annually in Munich, with a 16 to 18-day folk festival running from mid or late September to the first Sunday in October. All in all, around six million locals and tourists attend this gathering yearly.
Germany collects over 1,000 tons of trash after the Oktoberfest.
As a result of the world’s largest Volksfest, the country amasses over 1,000 tons of waste after the celebration. Their sponsors and the city government of Munich head the post-festival cleaning.
China consumes the most beer as a whole.
The Czech Republic leads the world in terms of beer consumption per person, but China consumes the most beer as a whole. Not only does it boast the world’s largest population, but China’s annual consumption of beer averages at 46 billion liters, which is twice the amount of the U.S.
Western Iran has evidence of fermentation as early as 3,500 BC.
Western Iran shows the earliest evidence of beer making. Chemical tests of old pottery jars suggest that beer was produced as early as 3,500 BC.
The economy of the United States benefits from beer sales.
In the United States, the beer industry plays a vital role in its economy. Every year, the country generates profits of over 100 billion dollars from beer alone.
The United States is home to the most popular beer brands.
More than 7,000 breweries manufacture beers in the United States. The top 3 leading companies in the country are Anheuser-Busch from St. Louis, Missouri, MillerCoors from Chicago, Illinois, and Pabst Brewing Company from Los Angeles, California.
California leads the United Stated with most breweries.
California is the biggest producer of beer in the U.S. with over 1,100 breweries. The Golden State has both microbreweries (small scale production) and larger industrial-scale breweries in its portfolio which is marketed locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.
There are hundreds of styles of beer.
Although there are two major categories of beer (ales and lagers), beer has hundreds of varieties. They differ in terms of yeast fermentation in the brewing process.
Most successful beer brands offer Pilsner.
One of the most famous styles of beer is Pilsner. Pilsner is a type of pale or blond lager, distinct for its light straw or golden color. The most successful and iconic beers like Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Coors, are made in the Pilsner style.
Josef Groll brewed the world's first Pilsen.
The Pilsner’s name came from the Czech city of Pilsen (Plzeň) where it was first brewed in 1842 by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll. Thanks to him, the city of Plzeň still produces the first and original Blond Lager up to this day.
Craft beer is a non-mechanized method of making beer.
From the name itself, craft beer is as handmade as it gets. A microbrewery or craft brewery painstakingly produces small amounts of beer in batches, emphasizing its quality, flavor, and brewing techniques in contrast to commercial, mass-produced beer.
Craft beer is more prized than commercial beer.
When consuming craft beers, drinkers are gulping the taste of dedication and hard work that went into creating the fermented masterpiece. On the other hand, commercial beers are referred to as “stale and flat.” Craft beer brewers give a tremendous amount of time perfecting its quality.
India Pale Lager has extreme hop flavors.
India Pale Lager, also known as IPA, has an increased presence in the market over the last decade. IPA offers extreme hop flavors over everything else. Today, the largest craft breweries such as Stone Brewing Co. from Escondido, California and Dogfish Brewery from Milton, Delaware manufacture IPA.
Stout is a dark, top-fermented beer.
Stout differs from other lagers for its dark color. Its variants include dry stout, Baltic porter, milk stout, and imperial stout. This beer has fewer calories compared to other styles of beer with an alcohol content of up to 8%.
Drinking stout could help fight cancer.
What makes Guinness or stout unique from other beers is its overwhelming, roasted flavor. The stout’s flavor comes from the roasted barley from that has not been malted. It also stands out from other beers as the only drink associated with fighting cancer. According to a study, drinking stout with your meals helps fight free radicals, which occurs when the body starts to metabolize the food.
There is no significant difference between a porter and a stout.
With not much differences between the two, stout is basically just a stronger version of porter. However, one distinction between the two is that porters use malted barley while stouts are made from unmalted roasted barley.
The Wheat beer or Witbier has a silky-smooth mouthfeel.
Commonly referred to as “White Beers,” the Belgian-style ale Witbier has a very pale and cloudy in appearance due to it being unfiltered and the high level of wheat or oats. Other varieties of Witbiers are fairly dry but generally, they have a slightly sweet, honey-like flavor. As its name suggests, it has a large proportion of wheat compared to the amount of malted barley.
Ales and lagers should be stored in different temperatures.
For ales, the ideal storage temperature is between 10-12 °C, while lagers should be stored between 7-10°C. Most beer drinkers may never consider having a beer fridge. However, owning a beer fridge has an advantage. For instance, it allows a beer enthusiast to regulate the right temperature. Storing any kind of beer above 12° C will deteriorate its flavor and quality.
Beer pong was invented in the '50s.
Beer pong is a drinking game where players throw a ping pong ball across a table intending to land the ball in a cup of beer on the other end. Two or more players will play the game on each side with up to 10 cups set up in a triangle formation for each side. When a player lands the ping pong ball into the cup, his or her opponent should drink the cup filled with beer. Although it is still disputed where beer pong exactly originated from, it first emerged in the ’50s.
There are several beer spas in the Czech Republic.
For instance, the Chodovar Beer Spa in the Czech Republic offers a 20-minute bath in beer brewing ingredients. The company says that this method boosts blood circulation, opens up pores, softens the skin and infuses the body with vitamins of their clients.
Barack Obama brewed his own beer at the White House.
Former President Barack Obama was the first president to ever brew a beer in the White House. According to an interview, he did it because of the transformation in beer culture in the last 15 years, where hundreds and hundreds of small breweries are booming all over the United States. The former president introduced the practice to the White House to encourage everyone to brew their beers.
You can make your own beer with home brewing kits.
Home brewing kits come in various types from numerous manufacturers, and most of these kits come with a full set of instructions for brewing. From there, brewers can opt to create their all-grain beer, malt extract, pre-hopped malt extract, and other beer varieties.
Drinking beer reduces the risk of kidney stones.
While extreme intake of alcohol could put anyone at a greater risk for kidney stones, the moderate consumption of beer has shown to potentially prevent kidney stones. This study revealed that drinking beer moderately reduces the risk of developing kidney stones by as much as 40%.
Beer can also lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
At this point, it may sound like one of the beer facts that can’t be true, but beer does have more medicinal effects. In the right amount and circumstances, beer is good for the heart and blood vessels due to its alcohol content. For the average person, an intake of less than 30 g of alcohol per day lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25% compared to nondrinkers.
Drinking beer reduces the risk of ischemic stroke.
An ischemic stroke starts when an artery in the brain gets blocked. Small amounts of alcohol can be beneficial for patients who had a stroke caused by a clot blocking a blood vessel. However, for all beer’s medicinal effects, it’s still best to consult your doctor if you have any underlying conditions.
Drinking beer significantly lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Beer may be made of sugar, but drinking slow amounts lowers a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes by 25%. Researchers observed that alcohol increased a person’s adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a hormone that improves insulin sensitivity, protecting the body against developing Type 2 diabetes.
Drinking beer increases good cholesterol.
Moderate alcohol consumption increases HDL cholesterol in the blood. In detail, HDL cholesterol acts as the scavenger in the bloodstream, eradicating harmful cholesterol. Hence, high HDL levels provide many benefits to the average human’s body.
Beer intake protects the body against radiation.
According to a study in Japan, beer drinkers reduced their risk of chromosomal damage from radiation compared to non-beer drinkers.
Small consumption of beer reduces the risk of ulcers.
Your hangover might convince you otherwise, but the right amount of beer can also protect your stomach from ulcers. A small intake of 75 grams per week of beer reduces the risk of ulcers caused by a bacteria known as H. Pylori.
Beer drinkers are better thinkers at old age.
According to research, men who are in the late 70s and 80s that have been boozing one alcoholic beverage per day tend to have a clearer thinking ability compared to non-drinkers.
Drinking too much beer will increase heartburn.
For all beer’s medicinal properties, too much of anything is still bad. Beer is a powerful stimulant of gastric acid secretion. Too much consumption of beer takes a toll on the gastroesophageal tract, which causes heartburn.
Drinking too much alcohol leads to dehydration.
As with any alcoholic drink, it’s advised to drink water in between sips of beer to prevent dehydration. Ten percent of alcohol consumed is excreted in breath, sweat, and urine, and the liver needs a lot of water to stay healthy. If the drinker refuses to drink water, the liver will be forced to take water from other organs leading to headaches and dehydration.
Excessive alcohol intake can lead to addiction.
Prolonged use of excessive alcohol may lead to alcohol dependency and alcoholism. Grave health issues such as malnutrition, inflammation of the pancreas, and liver failure are also at risk of developing with time.
The origin of alcoholism is still unknown.
This disorder starts when a person drinks too much – chemical changes in the brain transpire. The chemical changes increase the pleasurable feelings upon drinking alcohol, and this what makes a person drink more often, even if it spells danger. Aside from this, more concrete reasons behind alcoholism are still unknown.
Alcoholism is treatable.
Treatments for alcoholism range from physical detoxification to counseling and rehabilitation. Certain prescribed medications and joining social support groups may also help.
NIAAA is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) heads biomedical and behavioral research on the consequences, causes, prevention, and treatment of alcohol-related problems. It is a funding agency that aims to help individuals suffering from alcoholism.
The expiration date of the beers can be extended.
A well-stored beer generally lasts from six to nine months beyond the expiration date on its label. In the right temperature, refrigerated beer can last for up to two years beyond its expiration date.
Belgium sees beer as a healthy alternative for the youth.
To fight against child obesity, some Belgian schools offered low-alcohol beers as in place of sodas and sugary lemonades. Giving kids beer might sound crazy, but the schools only offered beer with an ACV of 1.5%-2.5% compared to the usual 5.5%.
Ancient Greeks considered beer as an inferior beverage.
Ancient Greeks prefer wines over beers. They even saw beer as a “low-class” drink since it was relatively easy to produce. Today, the actual process of making wine is easier. However, producing a “perfect wine” is much harder than brewing a regular beer. How’s that for beer facts?
The first brewers in Egypt were women.
In Ancient Egypt, women would brew beer as an offering to the gods. Aside from offerings, beer was also considered a feminine drink, while men traditionally had wine.
A Beer Chugging World Champion drank a liter of beer in 1 second.
On June 22, 1977, Steven Petrosino secured a Guinness World Record for drinking 1 liter of beer in 1.3 seconds.
The United States prohibits drinking in commercials.
Commercial models in the U.S. are not allowed to show that they are drinking. U.S. law the promotion of alcohol consumption on national television. That’s why most beer commercials would only show people clinking their bottles. Definitely one of the beer facts you never knew of.
The study of beer is one of the branches of science.
If ‘oenology’ is the study of wine, ‘zythology’ is the study of beer. Zythology provides more insight on beer’s ingredients, sophistication, and brewing process.
John Evans holds the record of most pints of beer stacked on his head.
John Evans bagged a Guinness World Records in June 2010 for stacking 237 pints on beer on his head. Evans secured this record despite being diabetic with only one functional eye.
The world's biggest glass of beer is 7 feet and 4 inches tall.
Produced by Angus Wood and Ed Dupuy of Stod Fold Brewing Company Halifax, United Kingdom, the biggest glass of beer contained 2,082 liters of Stod Fold Gold (ale beer).
Belgium has the most individual brands of beer.
There are over 400 types of beer across the globe. However, Belgium has the most in terms of individual brands, with more than 224 active breweries. The country has a variety of beers – strong ales, sour ales, pale lager to amber ales, lambic beers, Flemish red ales, and stouts.
The Ancient Babylonians were serious about beer brewing.
The Ancient Babylonians took it seriously when it comes to beer making. If any brewer would ruin the quality of the beer, they would drown the brewer as a death punishment. How’s that for hardcore beer facts?
Some people fear empty glasses.
Cenosillicaphobia is the term for the irrational fear of an empty glass. Whether it’s an empty glass of beer, wine, or even water, a person who experiences this phobia feels irrationally agitated when there is an empty glass around.