You may have heard the news that today is “National Drink Beer Day,” a worthy addition to the canon of beer holidays, and as far as I can tell was created as recently as 2012. That’s when the National Drink Beer Day Facebook page was created, at least. Both the Facebook page and the website for National Drink Beer Day offer no insights or indeed any information whatsoever about the holiday’s origins or purpose. No matter, it seems to have captured peoples’ imagination and the day appears to have caught on. One thing I’ve learned in the 35 years that I’ve been collecting holidays is that anyone can make up a holiday, the real trick is acceptance, getting people to observe and celebrate it. But who wouldn’t want to celebrate drink beer day, something most of us already do on a daily basis the other 364 days of the year? So it’s no surprise that National Drink Beer Day and I, too, will mark the day by — wait for it — drinking a beer!
But Mental Floss had another way to observe the new holiday, and posted a fun list of 25 Amazing Facts for Drink Beer Day. You’ve probably heard many of them before, but it’s fun to see them all in one place. Pick one and drink a toast today to celebrate National Drink Beer Day.
- After he won the Nobel Prize, Niels Bohr was given a perpetual supply of beer piped into his house.
- The Code of Hammurabi decreed that bartenders who watered down beer would be executed.
- At the Wife Carrying World Championships, first prize is the wife’s weight in beer.
- A cloud near the constellation Aquila contains enough ethyl alcohol to fill 400 trillion trillion pints of beer.
- Coined in the early 1900s, the word “alcoholiday” means leisure time spent drinking.
- The builders of the Great Pyramid of Giza were paid with a daily ration of beer.
- During WWII, a bear named Wojtek joined the Polish army. He transported ammunition and sometimes drank beer.
- Fried beer won Most Creative Fried Food at the 2010 Texas State Fair.
- The top five states for beer consumption per capita: 1. North Dakota, 2. New Hampshire, 3. Montana, 4. South Dakota 5. Wisconsin.
- Germany is home to a beer pipeline. Taps in Veltsin-Arena are connected by a 5km tube of beer.
- Thomas Jefferson wrote parts of the Declaration of Independence in a Philadelphia tavern.
- Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty glass.
- At the end of Prohibition, FDR said, “What America needs now is a drink.”
- Winston Churchill called the concept of Prohibition was “an affront to the whole history of mankind.”
- George Washington insisted his continental army be permitted a quart of beer as part of their daily rations.
- Oktoberfest originally started as a festival celebrating the 1810 marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig.
- At spas in Europe, you can literally bathe in beer as a physical and mental therapeutic treatment.
- In the 1990s, the Beer Lovers Party ran candidates in Belarus and Russia.
- J.K. Rowling invented Quidditch in a pub.
- Beer helped Joseph Priestly discover oxygen. He noticed gases rising from the big vats of beer at a brewery and asked to do some experiments.
- A Buddhist temple in the Thai countryside was built with over a million recycled beer bottles.
- The moon has a crater named Beer.
- Beer soup was a common breakfast in medieval Europe.
- At the start of Bavarian Beer Week in Germany, an open-air beer fountain dispenses free beer to the public.
- In the 1980s, a beer-drinking goat was elected mayor of Lajitas, TX.
Mental Floss also has another worthwhile beer list one telling the stories of 10 Things Created Over a Couple of Beers. Hopefully, everyone should be able to find a good reason to enjoy a beer today in those two lists.