The world of beer is vast and dates back to antiquity. That history and scope has led to some truly bizarre things down the long centuries during which beer has been the preferred drink of humanity. These range from the interesting to the bizarre to the downright strange. Here are some of the strangest beer facts and trivia tidbits.
Destruction – Beer bottles can explode because of the pressure building up inside them. However, in 1814, an exploding beer vat released a flood of brew into the streets of London. 100,000 gallons of beer destroyed two homes and actually killed several people.
Christianity – Did you know that if it weren’t for Catholic monks the world of beer would be a very different place? Monasteries were largely responsible for brewing innovations and keeping their local areas supplied with beer during the Middle Ages.
Bass – The familiar red triangle of Bass Brewery (Bass Ale) is actually one of the world’s oldest trademarks, registered in 1875. The triangle continues to be used to this day.
The Oldest Brewery – The oldest brewery still in operation is located in Germany (where else?). The Weihenstephan Abbey has been producing beer for more than 1,000 years – it was founded in 1040. It still operates today, though it is no longer a functioning abbey.
Spit – Most beer today is made by boiling grain. However, some ancient cultures had a very different take on the process. In Incan society, women would chew corn and then spit the mush into a vat of warm water where it was allowed to ferment.
The Pilgrims – The story of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock is pretty well known historic fact. However, the reason behind their decision to put ashore here is a bit less known. In fact, they did not continue on to Virginia because they were running out of beer.
Breastfeeding – German mothers in the early 1800s were encouraged to drink up to seven pints of beer per day in order to make sure that they were able to adequately breastfeed their children. That number was reduced near the end of the century, when the government decided that two pints per day was sufficient.
These are only a few of the odd and interesting tidbits that surround beer and its long history. There are many more, as beer has had an immense impact on religion, agriculture, gender roles and almost every other aspect of human life.