20 Beer Facts to impress your mates at the next pub quiz:

  1. Beer is the third-most popular drink on earth, just after water and tea.
  2. The largest brewery in the world is Anheuser-Busch InBev., maker of such popular beers as Budweiser and Corona.
  3. Catholic priests and monks took up the art of brewing in the early Middle Ages, and many European breweries today have grown out of this monastic tradition.
  4. The strongest beer in the world is "Snake Venom," brewed by Scottish brewery Brewmeister. It is 67.5% alcohol by volume (abv). For comparison, most vodka is 40% abv, with beers typically between 3% and 10% abv.
  5. Approximately 48% of Americans drink at sporting events, with beer being the drink of choice.
  6. Beer is by far the most popular alcoholic drink in the world. In 2016, people consumed nearly 50 billion gallons of beer worldwide.
  7. Beer is as old as human history. Beer brewing and drinking predate written language.
  8. In 1983, there were 49 licensed breweries in the United States; by the end of 2017, there were 8,863.
  9. Far from being frowned on as a dangerous recreational drink, beer in the Middle Ages was a necessary part of people's diets.
  10. Though there are hundreds of styles of beer, they all fall into two basic categories: lagers and ales. They are differentiated according to how yeast ferments during the brewing process.
  11. A government-funded organization in Amsterdam, the Rainbow Group, hires alcoholics to clean litter from city streets and pays them with beer.
  12. McDonald's offers beer on its menu in many countries, including France, Germany and Portugal.
  13. Though more beer is brewed today than during the Middle Ages, average Europeans in Medieval times drank far more.
  14. Viking warriors who made it to Valhalla after they died were gifted with beer.
  15. Tradition holds that St. Patrick kept a brewer in his household in 5th century Ireland.
  16. Oktoberfest is an annual German drinking festival held in Munich. Running for more than two weeks, it attracts upwards of 6 million people.
  17. Strange craft beer ingredients used by contemporary brewers include coffee oatmeal, avocado, cookie dough, chipotle peppers, seaweed, oysters, candy corn, squid ink, blue cheese, pastrami, and pig brain.
  18. You can go swimming in a pool of beer at the Schloss Starkenberger brewery in Tarrentz, Austria. The sudsy bath is said to promote healthy skin.
  19. Beer-drinking vessels throughout history have ranged from crude implements to golden or porcelain works of art and often reflected the drinker's social position.
  20. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was once called the "Beer Capital of the World," as it was home to four of the largest American breweries: Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, and Blatz, as well as a large German population and a vibrant drinking culture.