9 things to learn about beer

by: Tierney Pomone
August 16, 2013

Anyone out there love trivia?

tierneyOver the years I’ve compiled a little mental folder full of facts about beer from food pairing notes and stylistic qualities to bits and pieces of history and health benefits. Knowledge is power!

Next time you want to sound even smarter around your friends, drop a some of this expertise and prepare to sound impressive.

Did you know that beer is an important and integral part of the history of the world and the United States? Ancient Sumerians were the first to brew with the oldest known recipe dates back 4,000 years.  Their neighbors, the Egyptians, built the pyramids with a little help from beer. Workers were given a few liters a day while they worked because it was cleaner than the nearby Nile River water. The same reasoning was true during the middle ages and during many plague and flu outbreaks.

The agricultural revolution took place because people needed more beer with a few side effects being the plow, the wheel and simple irrigation systems. It’s even rumored that the pilgrims landed in Plymouth Rock because they ran out of beer instead of continuing on to Virginia as planned.

Surprising to many, women were some of the first brewers. That’s right, women. In fact, the act of brewing was long considered to be women’s work much like cooking and weaving. In some cultures, only women of noble birth and considered to be incredibly beautiful were allowed to brew.

Also, Ancient Incan women would chew up ground corn into a pulp-like consistency in their mouths then spit it out into warm water vats that would then sit and ferment for weeks. Later this mixture would be strained and enjoyed by the tribe. (Sidebar: Dogfish Head recreated this brew in 2010 called Chicha.)

When it comes to the health benefits of beer, many say there are none. In reality, beer contains all of the minerals we as humans need to survive. Studies show that each bottle of beer consumed per day reduces the risk of kidney stones by 40% in middle-aged men.

Thanks to other studies, we know that beer helps to increase bone density, reduce the risk of heart disease, enhances problem-solving skills, and helps prevent osteoporosis. As if you needed more reasons to enjoy beer right?

Prepare to drop some serious knowledge on your friends with some new beer vocabulary words:

  • Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty glass.
  • Zythology is the study of beer and beer making.
  • Zymurgy is the study and practice of yeast fermentation in brewing.

Are fun quotes more your scene? Frank Zappa said, “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline — it helps if you have some kind of a football team, but at the very least you need a beer.”

Ben Franklin is quoted as saying, “Beer is proof that God loves us,” and there’s always my favorite from Kaiser Wilhelm, “Give me a woman who loves beer, and I will conquer the world.”

Now go forth and spread your brain wealth!

Categories: Craft Beer

One thought on “9 things to learn about beer

  1. Pingback: 9 Bits of Craft Beer Trivia | Stouts and Stilettos

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