Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we looked up some weird beer facts for your brain. Cheers!
Beer Fact #1: Ancient Babylonians invented beer
The Oatmeal explains that if a bad batch was brewed by a Babylonian, the punishment was death by drowning the brewer in the bad ale.
Waaaaay back in the 6th millennium B.C.E., Sumerians (AKA Babylonians) mastered fermentation. By the 19th century B.C.E., they were recording beer recipes as songs in honor of their beer goddess, Ninkasi, as Live Science reports. Women were often put in charge of crafting beer in ancient cultures around the world up until around the late 1700s:
- Ninkasi – Sumerian goddess of beer
- Tenenit – Egyptian goddess of beer
- Mbaba Mwana Waresa – Zulu goddess of beer
- The Wari women – ancient Peru
Beer Fact #2: In 1814, London experienced a Beer Tsunami
London – 1814, 3,500 barrels of beer ruptured at a brewery tank, resulting in a tidal wave of beer that demolished two houses and killed 9 people, according to The Oatmeal.
Beer Fact #3: Beer Phobias & Cures
Cenosillicaphobia – (n) the fear of an empty glass (Source: The Oatmeal)
Double fisting – (v) Expression used to describe somebody at a party, bar or restaurant, holding two drinks, one in each hand. Unlike single fisting, which most people do. (Courtesy of Urban Dictionary)
Beer Fact #4: Prohibition lasted 13 years, 10 months, 19 days…
HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is all about prohibition in America. Prohibition has been described as America’s failed “noble experiment,” which resulted in the emergence of nightclubs, speedboats, the mob, men and women drinking together, the spread of jazz, booze cruises, powder rooms, and cocktails, according to this report by CBS last year.
Beer Fact #5: The average American consumes 20 gallons of beer per year
According to the Brewers Almanac 2010 (via Wikipedia), the U.S. produced 196 million barrels of beer and Americans consume roughly 20 US gallons of beer per person each year.
And the Kirin Holdings website reported, “in 2008, the United States was ranked 16th in the world in per capita consumption, while total consumption was second only to China.”
Beer Fact #6: Beer is mostly water
But it’s also flowers (hops), fungus (yeast), and grains (barley). And Dublin’s (Ireland, not California) mineral-rich water is great for making stouts. Guiness, anyone?
“Hops are a better source of cell-damage-fighting antioxidants than red wine, green tea and soy products, according to a 2000 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,” says Live Science.
Beer Fact #7: Beer’s good for the bones
Live Science also claims that while beer is bad for head in the form of hangovers and hard on your liver, it’s good for your bones. It contains silicon, which is good for promoting bone health. But hangovers help put people in check by reminding us that moderation is the key!
Askmen.com also argues that beer can be good for the brain. A study found that light drinkers (1-6 beers per week) to moderate drinkers (7-14 beers per week) have fewer strokes than nondrinkers. This is most likely due to alcohol’s effect in thinning the blood and preventing blood clots in the brain. However, while heavy drinkers (15+ drinks per week) suffer the least amount of strokes, they do suffer the most from brain atrophy, or the wasting of brain tissues. And that’s no good.
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