Tipsy Trivia

I cannot vouch for the veracity of all these claims. However, they are fun to ponder.

Worldwide, approximately 20,000 brands of beer are brewed in 180 styles.

English inns were once required to pay a tax known as a "scot." Customers who left town to drink in rural taverns were said to be drinking "scot free."

When consumed with boiled or pickled eggs, beer sometimes causes a malfunction of the olfactory senses.

The oldest recipe for beer in Europe was found in the ruins of the Spanish village of Geno, and dates back more than 3,000 years.

Hippocrates recommended prescribing beer for its tranquilizing properties and because it quenches thirst, eases speech, and strengthens the heart and gums. (At least, he thought so!)

With 400 different brands of beer, Belgium has more brands than any other nation on Earth.

Emperor Carlos V was the first beer importer, and one of its most illustrious aficionados. It is said that, even in his retirement in Yuste, he kept a Flemish brewer in his reduced entourage.

Chatbir zoo in Punjab State, India, serves brandy to its bears to keep them warm in the winter.

Reno, NV has the highest rate of alcoholism in the US; Provo, UT has the lowest.

In Kentucky, you are considered sober until you cannot hold onto the ground. (Can you imagine the DUI tests in that state?)

In the mid 1970s, Australians were the third biggest per capita beer drinkers, after Germans and Belgians. In the 1990s, though, they weren't even in the top ten!

The tune of "The Star Spangled Banner" was derived from "Anacreon," a British drinking song.

John Wagner, who had a small brewery in back of his house on St. John Street in Philadelphia, brewed the first lager in the United States. He brought the first lager yeast to the US from a brewery Bavaria.

Beer is great for controlling slugs in your garden! You can make a slug trap by pouring 2-5 cm of beer in cottage cheese, margarine, or other similar containers and placing them near plants prone to slug damage with the rims 3 cm above the surface of the soil. (No word on what brand of beer that slugs prefer, though.)

Here's to your health #1: Both red wine and dark beer are rich in flavonoids, which are believed to have a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Here's to your health #2: We already know red wine may protect your heart. But a recent study by a Harvard pathologist showed that resveratrol, an antioxidant in red wine, may increase the lifespan of yeast cells. It significantly lengthens the lives of fruit flies, too. (Does it work in humans? We hope!)

Here's to your health #3: Canadian researchers found that one beer ups antioxidant activity, which may protect the heart and brain from oxidative damage. A Tufts study suggested that it has bone benefits, too. (However, drink responsibly!)

Americans drink three million gallons of orange juice per day. We drink over fifteen million gallons of beer daily. This means that on average, Americans drink five times more beer than orange juice.

If everyone quit drinking alcoholic beverages, twenty million starving people could be fed on the grain saved. (However, the old starving-children-in-Africa warhorse isn't going to get me to give up my beer. Actually, it would be better if we all gave up beef!)

One day in Poland, a brewery developed a plumbing problem in which beer was accidentally pumped into the incoming water supply. The result: Residents of the town got free beer on tap at their kitchen sinks, bathrooms and garden faucets. (Those lucky Poles!)

The term 'toddlers' originated in England. There were impurities in the drinking water that disallowed the water to be used for drinking. A common alternative drink was beer (it was cheep, plentiful and the water used to make it was treated during the initial boiling during brewing). Toddlers, just weaning off of mothers milk were unaccustomed to the effects of beer. This coupled with the fact that they were just learning how to walk really made them toddle. (Those lucky English tots!)

The familiar Scandinavian toast sköl derives from scole, the drinking bowl shaped like the upper half of a human skull. Originally, these bowls were fashioned from the actual skulls of enemy killed in battle.

According to The Code of Hammurabi of ancient Babylonia (c. 1750 B.C.) a merchant could be put to death for diluting beer. (Let's hear it for Hammurabi!)

At the Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland, first prize is the wife’s weight in beer.

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