Cheers, Prost, Salud to International Beer Day!
Prost! Salud! 乾杯! في صحتكم! Cheers!
Today is International Beer Day, a day to celebrate the incredible story of beer across the world. Beer has a proud and diverse history across different cultures, regions, and eras, and this diversity continues to impact how beer is enjoyed and understood across the globe today.
Beer has charted different paths internationally, from Germany to Japan, Spain to Australia, and Peru to Egypt; in fact, the story of beer is as old as civilization itself!
Germany is well-known for its tradition of beer excellence, thanks in large part to its widely celebrated Beer Purity Law, or “Reinheitsgebot.” Decreed by Duke William IV of Bavaria in 1516, Reinheitsgebot limits the ingredients of beer to barley, hops, and water. It is quite possibly the world’s oldest consumer protection law. Read more here.
It is said that in 1853, beer was first test-brewed in Japan by Koumin Kawamot, a doctor of Dutch medicine during the Edo Period. By 1869, the first domestic brewery was established, and by 1886, Japan was producing more beer domestically than it was importing! Beer remains widely loved in Japan to this day. Read more here.
Beer became a prominent beverage in Spain upon the arrival of Emperor Charles V. Initially from the beer-loving Flanders region, Charles hired a brewmaster from central Europe, transforming part of a monastery into a beer factory. In the 20th century, beer gained real traction in the country and large factories were established. Read more here.
Researchers have discovered a nearly 1000-year-old brewery in the lofty peaks of southern Peru. Part of the Wari empire, the entirely female-staffed brewery appears to have produced around 100 gallons of beer daily. The specialty brew, Chicha, was made from corn and Peruvian pepper-tree berry and was enjoyed by all. Read more here.
The Aussies have always been known to enjoy a good pint. As the First Fleet of Europeans arrived on Australia’s shores, they brought their brewing legacy with them. In the 1850s, James Harrison invented the first practical modern refrigeration system. Breweries were among the first to adopt the technology for commercial use, and Aussies have been enjoying ice-cold beer ever since. Read more here.
Beer was also the cornerstone of some of Egypt’s technological feats, as the laborers who built the Great Pyramids were offered a daily ration of 1.3 gallons of beer. Beer in ancient Egypt held divine status. The goddess Hathor, whom the Egyptians praised as the goddess of love, dance, and beauty, was also affectionately referred to as “The Lady of Drunkenness.” Read more here.
Every country has a unique beer story to share, and thanks to the more than 92,000 brewers and beer importers, American consumers can experience this history every day. This year, spend International Beer Day by learning something new about beer, trying a new style, and toasting to beer’s impact in communities across the world. And as always, enjoy responsibly.
Your Friends at the Beer Institute