From the great London beer floods to Amsterdam paying alcoholics in beer, join us as we take a look at 15 amazing beer facts for St Patrick’s Day.
15. London Beer Flood
On October 17, 1814 a Tottenham Court Road brewery in London had their vats rupture, unleashing more 1,400,000 litres of beers onto the streets. The torrent of beer destroyed two homes and smashed down a wall of the Tavistock Arms pub. It washed down streets and filled adjoining basements. Eight people lost their lives as a result of the London Beer Flood.
The brewery was taken to court over the incident but a judge and jury found the catastrophe to be an act of god.
14. Russia Classed Beer As Soft Drink
Until recently Russia considered beer a soft drink. In 2011 former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed a bill that formally recognised beer as alcoholic. Prior to the bill passing, any drinks with 10% alcohol or less were considered a foodstuff.
13. World’s Strongest Beer
Scottish brewery Brewmeister have created the world’s strongest beer. This potent brew is called ‘Snake Venom’ and contains 67.5 percent alcohol. It even comes with its own health warning urging customers to drink no more than 35ml in one sitting, which is a good thing because this bad-boy costs around US$85 per bottle.
12. Mama Mia Pizza Beer
This is the world’s first pizza beer! Created by Tom Seefurth in Campton Township, Illinois, this beer tastes like a pizza. When brewing this Franken-beer an entire margarita pizza, complete with tomato, basil, garlic and oregano is steeped into the brewing mash like a tea bag. The result is a rich, heady beer that tastes remarkably like pizza, which depending on how you like your beer may or may not be a good thing.
11. George Washington’s Favourite Beer
Long Island beer makers, Blue Point Brewing Company, have recreated George Washington’s favourite beer.
The former American president, who was an avid beer drinker, had his own home brewery. He even wrote his own recipe for a rather unusual beer. It contained molasses and spruce tips which were often substituted for hops in the 18th century.
Available in a limited release, Blue Point’s Colonial Ale aims to recreate Washington’s favourite home brew. The result is a session American brown ale with toffee notes that lead to a citrus, pine finish. Nom city!
10. Bad Beer Is Punishable by Death
Ancient Babylonians were so serious about beer that if you brewed a bad batch you were drowned in your own unpalatable brew.
9. Jurassic Beer
Fossil Fuels Brewing Company, co-owned by microbiologist Raul Cano, have created a beer that was made using a 25 million year old piece of yeast. The yeast, which was encased in amber, was revived using a process inspired by Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park.
This ancient beer is crisp and easy drinking, perfect for a summer afternoon. Dennis Nedry approves.
8. Dead Animal Beer
Brewing company BrewDog are serving their signature blonde Belgian ale out of the preserved corpses of dead animals. The End of History ale is served inside an ominous mix of dead stoats, squirrels and hares.
Animal activists claim the marketing is nothing more than a cheap stunt and a disrespectful use of the dead animals. BrewDog co-owner James Watt responded saying he ‘…can think of no grander way to celebrate these animals than for them to be cherished by the lucky owners’.
All animals used by the brewery died of natural causes.
7. Marijuana and Beer
Hops, the bitter agent used in beer’s fermentation process belongs to a family of flowering plants called Cannabaceae. Marijuana is also included in this family.
6. Amsterdam Pays Alcoholics Beer
The Rainbow Group, a partially government funded welfare initiative, pays Amsterdam alcoholics in beer.
Destitute and homeless, those inducted into the program will clean up local parks and streets from 9 am to 3 pm. In exchange for their work, participants are given a hot meal, 5 beers and rolling tobacco.
Local residents are mostly in favour of the controversial program. Police have reported fewer muggings and stabbings in public areas since the program’s inception.
What do you think? Should alcoholics be paid in the very vice that afflicts them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
5. Ancient Egypt Loved Beer
Research suggests that ancient Egypt ran on beer. Adults and even children frequently drank the foamy amber beverage as it played a central role in their diets. According to Patrick McGovern, an archaeologist at the university of Pennsylvania, the labourers that built the great pyramids of Giza were given up to four litres of beer per day.
4. World’s Fastest Beer Drinker
In 1977, Steven Petrosino chugged 1 litre of beer (33 ounces) in 1.3 seconds, making him the world’s fastest beer drinker. The above video is a reenactment from 2003.
3. Win Your Wife’s Weight in Beer
In North America there is a wife carrying championship that pays out your wife’s weight in beer.
The sport, which originated in Finland, sees competitors carry their better halves through an obstacle course. Teams of two are timed as they run several heats to determine an outcome. Winners are given their wife’s weight in beer and five times their weight in cash.
2. UK Moustaches Waste Beer
In 2000, a study concluded that British men with moustaches waste 162,719 pints of Guinness each year by funneling it through their hairy upper lips.
1. World’s Longest Hangover
In 2006, a 37 year old man from Glasgow was diagnosed with, what experts believe to be, the world’s longest hang over.
After complaining of a headache and blurred vision the Glaswegian local checked himself into hospital. Doctors were stumped by the patient’s symptoms until it was revealed the man had consumed 60 pints, which is around 35 litres of beer, over a four day period. The result was a hangover that lasted for 40 days.