The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”
For today’s Did You Know fun drink facts we will look at Beer.
The Facts: Humans and yeast have been working together for millennia to create tasty brews. As early as the 6th millennium B.C., ancient Sumerians had discovered the art of fermentation. By the 19th century B.C., they were inscribing beer recipes into tablets in the form of a Hymn to Ninkasi, their female deity of beer.September 7th is National Beer Lover’s Day
- While beer is not likely to qualify as a health food anytime soon, it does contain at least one ingredient that’s good for you: silicon. A study released in February 2010 in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture revealed that a couple of beers can provide a healthy daily level of silicon, which is important for bone health. Beers high in malted barley and hops had the most silicon, with Pale Ales topping the list. Wheat beers and lagers are less silicon-rich.
- In ancient and medieval times the job of making beer fell to women. In some cultures it was considered such an honor that only beautiful or noble women could do it. In medieval Europe brewing was one of a housewife’s regular tasks, just like cooking and cleaning and baby making. Some of these women became famous for being exceptional brewers and started supplying people other than their own families.
- The few beer producers who weren’t women tended to be monks. Monasteries have a rich history of brewing beer in order to refresh tired travelers and to sell to make money to run the monastery. Today some still have active breweries, especially the Trappist Monks in Belgium and the Netherlands. Trappists make beer in order to remain entirely self-sufficient, allowing them to run their monasteries on the money they make from the brewery and that alone.
- Today, beer is the preferred beverage of men, according to data from a July 2010 Gallup poll. Of the 67 percent of U.S. adults who drink alcohol, 54 percent of men named beer as their top alcoholic beverage compared with 27 percent of women. (Liquor was equally preferred by both genders, while women heavily favored wine, a trend largely driven by women over 50.)
- Beer is more popular among young people, with half of 18- to 34-year-olds listing it as their top intoxicating beverage. Midwesterners are the top beer-drinkers in the United States, but not by much. Forty-six percent of Midwesterners said beer was their favorite drink, compared with 42 percent of Easterners, 40 percent of Westerners and 37 percent of Southerners.
- Beer was often used as medicine in medieval times. But those people used just about anything as medicine whether it worked or not, right? Modern people wouldn’t be so silly. Or would they? Shortly after the start of Prohibition the government ruled that doctors could give out beer for medicinal purposes (sound familiar?). This made members of the temperance movement furious; here they had finally won their long fight to outlaw alcohol and people were still going to be able to get it because of a loophole in the 18th Amendment. Would doctors’ offices become the new dens of vice that bars had recently been?
- It’s a terrible stereotype that Germans are all huge beer drinkers. However, their country of 80 million did until just a few years ago have more breweries than the 300 million strong USA. They also lay claim to the oldest brewery. Located in Bavaria, Weihenstephan Abbey has been making beer since 1040. That’s almost 1000 years of continuous beer production.
- The age at which you are allowed to buy alcohol varies surprisingly little from country to country, usually falling between 16 and 21. However, parts of India have a drinking age of 25, the latest in the world. Many Muslim countries outlaw alcohol consumption altogether while a very few countries allow anyone of any age to buy beer. The age at which you are allowed to purchase alcohol is often different from when you can legally drink it. For example, in the UK you must be 18 to purchase alcohol but it is legal for you to drink it in a private home under adult supervision from the age of 5.