Bottoms Up! - It's American Beer Day

Today is American Beer Day

October 27this American Beer Day! Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in the United States, where over 2,500 breweries produce more than 6 billion gallons of beer annually! Breweries across the US include large, well-known brands, regional brands and increasingly popular craft beers.

There are many varieties of beer but the most popular is pale lager. Other common styles include IPA, porter and stout. A fun fact is that Americans drink more than 50 billion pints of beer each year - that would be enough to fill 1 out of every 25 residential in-ground pools in the U.S.!

Celebrate today by heading out to a nearby bar or brewery and enjoy some nice, ice cold beer!

Fun Facts About Beer:

  • The first references to beer dates to as early as 6,000 BC. The very first recipe for beer is found on a 4,000-year-old Sumerian tablet containing the Hymn to Ninkasi, a prayer to the goddess of brewing.
  • 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."
  • In 1116 BC, Chinese imperial edict stated that heaven required people to drink beer.
  • In Medieval Europe, brewing and baking went together. Thus women were the first European brewers and were often called ale wives.
  • 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. Must have been good stuff.
  • The first consumer protection law ever written was enacted over beer by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria in 1516. It was a purity law limiting the ingredients of beer to barley, hops and water.
  • 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.
  • Beer wasn't sold in bottles until 1850. Beer lovers would visit their local tavern with a special bucket, have it filled and then begin the merry journey home.
  • Most saloons were owned by the breweries by the 1900s. The bartenders earned $10 to $15 per week, with Sunday bringing in the most business.
  • Prohibition, which began on January 16th, 1920, lasted 13 years, 10 months, 19 days, 17 hours, and 32-1/2 minutes (but who’s counting?) It was rescinded on December 5th, 1933, at 3:32 pm. In fact, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected in 1932 because of his promise to end Prohibition.
  • 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 "rule of thumb" comes from.
  • 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".
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Scotch and soda enthusiast, would stick his empty glass out the window of his Presidential limo, signaling to the rest of the motorcade that it was time for a refill.
  • The United States Marine Corps opened their first recruiting station in a bar, a tradition unseen in the 21st century.
  • While bourbon is the official alcohol of the United States, by an act of Congress. Many people have attempted to have that overturned in favor of beer instead throughout the years.
Glass of beer on the bar counter.

Photo: Getty Images

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