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15 Surprising Beer Facts That Every Beer Lover Must Know!

6. Beer was not considered an alcoholic beverage in Russia, until 2013. 

Beer in russia used to considered in soft drinks
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On New Year’s Day 2014, Russia woke up to a rather troubling reality –  beer was classified as an alcoholic beverage for the first time. Previously, beer had been considered a foodstuff, along with all other drinks less than 10% in strength. The beverage was available freely, at street kiosks and 24-hour convenience stores.

All that changed, when then President Dmitry Medvedev signed off on these restrictions in 2011, to mitigate and control alcohol abuse.(source)

7. A man made it through 46 days on ONLY beer and water. 

J. Wilson Beer Drinker
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A brave man from Iowa, J. Wilson, completed the Lent-long Beer Fast in 2011. Wilson drank only beer and water for 46 days straight, and finally broke this absurd fast with a bacon smoothie.

The beer diet is modeled along the lines of a centuries-old tradition that was practiced by Paulaner monks in Munich, Germany. However, a prolonged diet of beer and water will result in scurvy, protein deficiency and lots of trouble.(source)

8. Egyptian pyramid workers were paid with beer and give 1 gallon (4L), per day of work. 

Pyramid workers were paid in beer
Image source

Ancient alcohol expert and professor, Dr. Patrick McGovern, believes that the pyramids would not exist if it weren’t for beer. The story goes that workers would toil away to build Egypt’s pyramids, in return for cold beer at the end of the day.

McGovern says, “It was a source of nutrition, refreshment and reward for all the hard work. It was beer for pay. You would have had a rebellion on your hands if they’d run out. The pyramids might not have been built if there hadn’t been enough beer.”(source)

9. The oldest known recipe for beer is over 4,000 years old and was created by Sumerians.

Ancient Beer Recipe
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In ancient Sumer, beer-brewing and bread-making were closely related. In fact, the oldest known recipe for beer is 4000 years old and was left to us by the Sumerians, inscribed on a clay tablet.

Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian Goddess of Brewing and Beer, and head brewer for the Gods, themselves. The recipe has been written in the form of a Hymn to Ninkasi. The lyrical recipe records the entire process, from breaking down baked grains into pieces and stuffing them in a pot, to the addition of aromatics and water that would cause fermentation.(source)

On that note, go check out the entire, translated Hymn To Ninkasi. It’s quite beautiful.

10. There’s a beer that is brewed from bananas in Africa. 

Banana beer
Image source: flickr(Leo D’lion)

Several, in fact. Africa boasts of several commercial brands of banana beer. These include Mongozo Banana Beer, Raha and Agashya. The basic process involves the fermentation of mashed bananas, with variations in different parts of Africa.(source)


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