Fun Beer Facts We Bet You Didn't Know About

Few things compare with the pride that is felt when sitting back at the end of a hard day and watching the big game while drinking a beer that you brewed yourself. One is sharing that homebrewed beer with friends and family. While you do so, how about sharing some of these fun beer facts with them?

A Beer Riot

You might not want to share this one, however. In 1355, a pair of University of Oxford students did not care for the quality of their beers, got angry, threw them in the tavern owner's face, and a two-day riot ensued.

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Fun Beer Facts We Bet You Didn't Know About

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The First Brewer

You've joined a tradition that has been around at least 6,000 years. But would you believe that the earliest beer drinkers actually used straws? Yep, a tablet dating to around 4000 B.C. in present-day Iraq shows people using reed straws to drink beer from a communal bowl.

Beer on a Honeymoon? Of Course, It's Tradition!

About 2,000 years later in that same part of the world, the father of the bride would supply the groom with all of the mead, a type of honey beer, that he wanted for a month after the wedding. This period of time was called, "honey month," which eventually became, "honeymoon."

Beer Instead of a Paycheck? That's What the Egyptians Did

Those beautiful pyramids in Egypt were built by beer consumers as that was how they were paid. In fact, they received so much 4 liters a day that many must have been working under the influence, which we obviously do not endorse.

Soap and Candle Maker Turns Into a Major Brewer

Eberhard Anheuser, the namesake for half of Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest beer producer, was a soap and candle maker who ended up taking over the Bavarian Brewery Company in 1860 despite not being that interested in actively running the company. However, Adolphus Busch, his son-in-law, became part-owner nine years later and enthusiastically took those reigns.

Mayflower Passengers: "Stop! We Need Beer!"

After weeks and weeks at sea, the passengers aboard the Mayflower were expecting to see Virginia soon and instead ended up in New England. Normally, they would have simply headed south from there. However, they were out of beer, which truly was essential as it was most likely the only safe drink still aboard the ship, so they settled down in Cape Cod instead.

Beer's Also Healthier Than the Nile

Societies that lived along the Nile River about 2,500 years ago were found to have consumed beer as it was deemed to be safer than drinking out of that busy river. So there's another health benefit to tell your friends about when they are over trying your home brew. Well, maybe not.

But Don't Invite Carrie Over!

Carrie Nation engaged in passionate activism against alcoholic beverages starting when she believed that God told her to destroy a saloon, so she destroyed Dobson's Saloon in Kiowa, Kan. She followed that up by destroying two other ones there and then felt vindicated by God when a tornado later touched down in Kansas. She was arrested dozens of times over the next 10 years as she continued to destroy saloons.

Why You Tell Unruly Drinkers to Mind Their Ps and Qs

In English pubs in the 1600s, customers would order their ale in pints and quarts. When they got unruly, they would be told to settle down and mind their pints and quarts, which was eventually shortened to minding their Ps and Qs.

No, Beer is Not a Cold Remedy!

Although beer contains ethanol, which is a great antiseptic and normally good for getting over a cold, you would need to consume enough beer to push your blood alcohol content level to at least 60 percent for it to be truly effective. Don't do that! You will have already succumbed to fatal alcohol poisoning by then as that occurs when blood alcohol content levels reach between a third and a half of a percent.

Make Sure To Drink Extra on Jan. 16!

Jan. 16, 1920, will remain a dark day in the history of beer as that was when the 18th Amendment went into effect in the United States. Producing, transporting and selling beer all types of alcohol, in fact became illegal on that date. Thankfully, it was appealed on Dec. 5, 1933, making this the only amendment to ever be repealed in its entirety and, in the process, creating another great day for drinking some of your home brew: Dec. 5.

Even the Mayor Opposed Prohibition

On May 14, 1932, New York's mayor, Jimmy Walker, organized a "Beer for Taxation" daylong event that would later be known as the "We Want Beer" parade to help summon even more support for repealing the 18th Amendment. Can you imagine a mayor leading a major protest of anything down Fifth Avenue today?

Icelanders Also Celebrate the End of Prohibition

Their own prohibition, that is. Unfortunately for thirsty drinkers in this country, beer was prohibited here for 74 years. This dark period finally came to an end on March 1, 1989, and "Beer Day" is cause for celebration in this small island country every year.

You're Following in the Footsteps of George Washington

Even the father of the United States was a home brewer as he often enjoyed a pint or mug of beer when dining at Mount Vernon. In fact, he even gave beer to voters when he was running for political office. Maybe if you start doing that, you could also win an election!

More Health Benefits

Ale and stout have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease thanks to the high amounts of antioxidants that they both have. So drink up! Up to a pint a day has been shown to be beneficial.

It Has Fewer Calories Than Milk or Juice

At least that can be said for pale lagers as they tend to have fewer calories than the same amount of apple juice or milk. However, even other types of beer tend to not have that many more calories than those other drinks.

Ale Fueled the Vikings

Vikings would often consume ale before heading off to battle. The tasty beverage must have also warmed them up since they would often engage in battle without shirts. It also made them fearless as they would often not wear any armor either.

Unfortunately, Their Beards Drank Much of It

Today, about 93,000 liters of beer is believed to be lost en route to British stomach by stopping in the consumers' beards and mustaches. Considering how much facial hair many of the Vikings had, it's safe to say that a lot of the ale that they attempted to consume did not make it all the way.

First Colorful Beer Ad Aired in 1951

CBS broadcast the first brewer ad to appear in color on an American television set on June 25, 1951. It was an ad purchased by Pabst Brewing Company for Pabst Blue Ribbon. This was around the time that popular breweries started to transition from regional focuses to national ones, and Pabst wanted to take advantage of that trend.

A Beer Even Climbed Mount Everest

Well, almost. Legend has it that Jim Whittaker, the first American to ever climb the world's highest peak, took a can of Rainier Beer with him when he did so on May 1, 1963. But it's not true. However, he did fuel much of his journey with the tasty beverage as he took plenty of it, even up to 22,000 feet, about 7,000 feet short of the peak.

Marathoners Also Fuel Themselves or Recover With Beer

Samuel Adams Boston Lager was initially released on the day of the 1985 Boston Marathon, which is run on Patriots' Day ever year, and some of the marathoners surely recovered with a cold one. A few might have even fueled their run with one. Non-runners simply celebrated Patriots' Day with some of this lager.

Drunken Ants Are Treated Like Drunken People

In the 1800s, John Lubbock did some interesting studies on ants who were drunk from drinking too much beer, discovering that those who came upon sober ants that were from the same nest as they were, the sober ones would carefully tend to their friends and help them back home. Conversely, if the sober ants didn't know the drunk ones, they tossed them aside.

First Weekend in May is Another Great Time to Celebrate

That's because the first Saturday every May is National Homebrew Day, has been since 1988. The American Homebrewers Association even holds a competition called the Big Brew on this day, which brings together homebrewers to compete against each other to see who has the best beer.

How to Be a Good Host

On Nov. 5, 2007, Reinhard Wurtz broke the world record for most bier steins carried for 40 meters about 130 feet as he carried 20 of them through revelers, chairs and tables. Can you do the same? Well, you may not want to try unless you're ready to clean up the mess after any failed attempts.

He's the World Champion in Beer Chugging!

Steven Petrosino would have quickly gone through those 20 steins. On June 22, 1977, in Carlisle, Pa., he drank a liter of beer in 1.3 seconds, nearly cutting the previous world record of 2.3 seconds in half.