I stumbled across these “14 Funky Facts about Beer” on beerchurch.com. Enjoy!
1. It was the accepted practice in Babylon, 4,000 years ago, that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the “honey month,” or what we know today as the “honeymoon.”
2. There are 19 different versions of Guinness (5 or 6 main types in 19 variations, according to the late Michael Jackson).
3. According to a diary entry from a passenger on the Mayflower, the pilgrims made their landing at Plymouth Rock, rather than continue to their destination in Virginia, due to lack of beer.
4. A barrel contains 31 gallons of beer. What Americans commonly refer to as a keg is actually 15.5 gallons, or a half-barrel. Learn about other keg volumes and dimensions.
5. The first beer cans were produced in 1935. Here’s one of the first, a Krueger’s Special can.
6. Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb or finger into the mix to find the right temperature for adding yeast. Too cold, and the yeast wouldn’t grow. Too hot, and the yeast would die. This thumb in the beer is where the phrase “rule of thumb” comes from.
7. In 1788, Ale was proclaimed “the proper drink for Americans” at a parade in New York City.
8. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It’s where we get the phrase “mind your P’s and Q’s.”
9. The original text of the Reinheitsgebot (Germany’s Beer Purity Law) only had three ingredients: barley, hops and water. Yeast wasn’t mentioned for another 35 years.
10. George Washington had his own brewhouse on the grounds of Mount Vernon. On another note, we recently learned his wife, Martha, had a fantastic Rum Punch recipe.
11. After consuming a bucket or two of vibrant brew they called aul, or ale, the Vikings would head fearlessly into battle, often without armor or even shirts. In fact, “berserk” means “bare shirt” in Norse, and eventually took on the meaning of their wild battles.
12. The Budweiser Clydesdales weigh up to 2,300-pounds and stand nearly 6-feet at the shoulder.
13. 12-ounces of a typical American pale lager actually has fewer calories than 2 percent milk or apple juice.
14. In 1963, Jim Whitaker became the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. A can of Seattle’s own Rainier Beer made the ascent with him.
[techtags:BEER FACTS, BEER HISTORY]