As the celebrations marking the World Beer Day spill over to Friday, a weekend when many people let down their guards, loosen their belts and gulp down their favourite drinks, you need to know certain bizarre facts about the world of beer in general.
• In the 1980s a beer-drinking goat was voted mayor of a US town
Frustrated by corrupt politicians, the good people of Lajitas, Texas, United States of America, elected as their mayor a well-known local goat, Clay Henry. Clay was famous for wandering into taverns (beer parlors) and slurping beer from customers’ glasses. He was known to have signed at least one piece of real legislation with his hoof. He however died after an altercation with another goat.
• Beer comes in varieties and alcoholic contents you probably didn’t know about!
Yes, beer comes in so many different forms and some of them are downright bizarre. They include beers made with unexpected ingredients that include Bhut Jolokia (aka ghost pepper), blood oranges, glitter, pizza, chilli, chicken, avocado, etc. One of such brews even contains 60% alcohol! And another contains whale testicles that are smoked with burning sheep poop!
• Beer was once safer to drink than water
In Medieval times, beer was safer to drink than water, even though it was partly made using water drawn from the river. But the boiling and fermentation process neutralised most of the nasty microbes. Meaning it was safer, even for kids – and probably helped them sleep.
• In 1814, London suffered a Great Beer Flood
Just over two centuries ago, a giant vat of porter exploded at the former Horse Shoe Brewery on Tottenham Court Road. Over a million litres flooded the cobbled streets. It drowned eight people in what was then a densely-packed slum.
• Civilisation is literally founded on beer drinking
Some academics have argued that ancient nomadic goatherds, who roamed far and wide seeking fresh pasture for their flock, only settled permanently for one reason — so they could carefully cultivate, harvest and ferment barley.
• President Franklin D. Roosevelt ended Prohibition
The Prohibition was a naive and short-lived experiment when the US government attempted to ban all alcoholic drinks. His immortal words when the legislation passed in 1933? ‘What America needs now is a drink.’
• Even your dog can sit by and enjoy his beer!
Some beers are made using specially brewed combinations such as beef extracts and chicken to create the perfect pint for your pet. Just that all dog beers contain zero per cent alcohol, meaning it’s not like your beer.
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)