40 Amazing Beer Facts and Statistics You Need to Know

Beer Facts and Statistics

Studies or researchers have yet to substantiate some facts concerning the history of beer. There is no concrete documentation to associate with the information; historians are unclear on the details. These are mere theories that have been deduced or presumed. 

One such is that beer was not invented, at least not in this lifetime. Again, details are unclear to the specifics except that its discovery coincided with the end of the last ice age. The beverage has been modified since its introduction over the centuries but not delineating too far from essentially the basic “recipe” of water, hops, yeast, and barley.

One thing is for certain; the beverage is one of not many that have the most significant and enduring influences on humankind. The drink is one of the most consumed, third only to water and tea, and is among the most popular worldwide, and has been for centuries. 

It’s not only meant to quench thirst, but enthusiasts find it a compliment with many meals and a large part of festivities and celebrations. While aficionados know more than the average beer drinker, there are likely facts even the most established connoisseur might not be aware of. Let’s look at some beer facts that could surprise everyone.

40 Beer Facts You Need To Know

Beer Facts and Statistics

Theories are difficult to substantiate with historians not officially documenting ideas, presumptions, or possibilities into concrete scientific research we can then use to confirm as fact. 

In that same vein, some resources are available to back up some details about the beverage. Consider some points we were able to find to test your knowledge as a beer drinker with the most reliable resources to the facts.

1. The Czech Republic drinks the most beer per capita at 140 liters a year, or 380ml a day, which is more than a can of soda. (Wikipedia)

2. While the Czech Republic consumes the most per capita, China drinks the most as a country overall. (The surprising countries that consume the most beer per capita)

3. India is the country with the lowest beer per capita consumed, at just 1.2L annually. (WorldPopulationReview)

4. Kuwait, Mauritania, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia are the countries with the least alcohol consumption due to being predominantly Muslim countries. (WorldPopulationReview)

5. Beer is the third most popular drink worldwide. (Jesrestaurantequipment)

6. Because beer is favored throughout the world, consumption jumped to almost 50 billion gallons in the year 2016. (Kirin Beer University Report)

7. In Ancient Egypt, beer was commonly used for a vast range of purposes, including for douching and as an enema. (The Barbarian’s Beverage: A History of Beer in Ancient Egypt – 2005)

8. In Wisconsin, Milwaukee was at one time denoted as the “Beer Capital of the World,” with four of America’s most prominent breweries, including Blatz, Pabst, Miller, and Schlitz. The city carried a significant German population, not to mention a “vibrant drinking culture.” (The Oxford Companion to Beer – 2012, Oxford University Press

9. Beer “making” traces back to 3500 BC in western Iran. (Beer in the middle ages and the Renaissance – 2004, Pennsylvania Press)

10. Back in the days of the “temperance movements,” when alcohol was the primary focus with a call for restriction on consumption, the attention was on spirits and wine. Beer was exempt from the contempt with the belief that it was a healthier option. When prohibition came to America, beer was included. (The Oxford Companion to Beer – 2012, Oxford University Press)

11. The profits in the US for the beer industry each year exceed 100 billion dollars. (The US Beer Industry – 2017 National Beer Wholesalers)

12. A drinker’s social status was often reflected based on the “vessel” from which they drank their beer. That has been true throughout history. These could be fine works of art made from porcelain or gold, depending on where you stood. (The Oxford Companion to Beer – 2012, Oxford University Press)

13. There were roughly 50 licensed breweries in the US in the early 1980s. By the end of 2017, that number reached almost 8,900. (The US Beer Industry – National Beer Wholesaler Association – 2017)

14. Bread and malt were included in the beer recipe for Ancient Sumerians. (The Chemistry of Beer, NJ – 2013)

15. Bavarian Duke Wilhelm IV decreed the German “Beer Purity Law” in 1516, declaring water, hops, and barley were the only ingredients to be used to brew beer. This law is still in effect but has been significantly modified. (The Oxford Companion to Beer – 2012, Oxford University Press)

16. The statistics show (the most current) that the US state with the most breweries is California, with over 1100, while the distant second comes in at close to 500 in Washington. (The US Beer Industry – 2017, National Beer Wholesalers Assoc)

17. The favored American beer and most broadly distributed like Coors or Budweiser are considered “Pilsner-style lagers.” The name is derived from where they were created in Pilsen, Bohemia. The beer is golden in color and light with a profile described as “clean and simple.” (The Chemistry of Beer, Hoboken, NJ – 2013)

18. In the Middle Ages, beer was a regular, and considered to be, an essential component of an individual’s life, further from what some would warrant as a hazardous recreational beverage. (Beer in the middle ages and the renaissance – 2004, University of Pennsylvania Press)

19. Beer falls into two primary categories: either a lager or an ale. The differentiation is based on the yeast fermenting process while brewing. (Beer in the middle ages and the renaissance – 2004, University of Pennsylvania Press)

20. An aficionado will know how beer should be consumed and in what “vessel.” A flute glass should be used for a Belgian lambic and gueuze with light carbonation. When drinking a pilsner, opting for a tulip glass presenting a straight side is suggested. A sophisticated chalice is ideal for Trappist ales, and mugs are reserved for German beers such as straw blondes. The British bitter and stout will go in a pint glass. (The Oxford Companion to Beer – 2012, Oxford University Press)

21. Document lists from the ancient Egyptians show distinct types of beer, including labels like “heavenly” and “joy-bringer.” (Beer in the middle ages and the Renaissance – 2004, University of Pennsylvania Press)

22. Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist, was a Nobel Prize winner, and the Carlsberg brewing company celebrated his accomplishment by fitting his home with a pipeline attached to the brewery from which he could obtain free beer for the remainder of his life. (For winning the Nobel prize, Niels Bohr got a house with free beer – 2012)

“I feel wonderful drinking beer, in a blissful mood, with joy in my heart and a happy liver.” 

Credit to a Sumerian poet, ca 3000 BC

23. In Amsterdam, an organization funded by the organization known as the Rainbow Group employs individuals suffering from alcoholism to clear litter from the city and offers beer as their compensation. (Amsterdam alcoholics paid in beer for collecting litter – 2014, BBC News)

24. “The Star Spangled Banner” melody was initially a tune from an English drinking song referenced as “To Anacreon in Heaven.” (The Oxford Companion to Beer – 2012, Oxford University Press)

25. In Belgium, an elementary school in 2001 started offering low-alcohol beer to kids for their lunches because they believed beer to be a healthier option than soda. (School Dinner? Mine’s a Lager, Please – 2001)

26. When coming of age in Britain, the young man is welcomed into adulthood with a “yard of ale.” When presented with the three pints, he is to drink the entire amount from a yard-long glass tube featuring a bulb on the end and do so without stopping. (The Oxford Companion to Beer – 2012, Oxford University Press)

27. The beer distributor Heineken produced beer bottles drinkers could reuse as glass brinks to construct a home in 1963. The distributor aimed to offer affordable building materials while reducing waste for those in the lower-income brackets. (When Heineken bottles were square – 2013, Smithsonian.com)

28. In Early England, Christian kings were challenged to regulate drinking with citizens. Small beer stands known as “ale booths” line the Roman roadways for those traveling to stop and have a cold one. (The Oxford Companion to Beer – 2012, Oxford University Press)

29. Mcdonald’s serves alcohol as part of its daily menu in several countries, including South Korea, Germany, France, and Portugal. (Mcdonald’s starts selling beer in world’s most ‘spirited’ nation – 2016, NBC news)

30. In Austria, people will find a swimming pool they can take a dip in at the Schloss Starkenberger brewery. The suggestion is that swimming in the alcohol promotes “healthy skin.” (Bathe in brew at the world’s first beer swimming pool – 2017, Independent)

31. Catholic monks fasting for Lent in Medieval Europe would consume only beer for these 40 days. The only calories they received were from the beer; they had no food indicating the beer was “liquid bread.” (Man’s lenten diet: ‘liquid bread,’ also known as beer – 2011, Morning Edition

32. The Managing Director of Dublin’s Guinness Brewery initiated the concept for The Guinness Book of World Records in an effort to dissuade pub disputes. (Guinness world records history – 2018, Guinness World Records)

33. How brewing was done in the Middle Ages has been completely transformed in the modern age. Once brewing took place primarily in monasteries and people’s homes as a communal practice. More science is incorporated into the effort today, with corporations navigating the brewing process. (Beer in the middle ages and the renaissance – 2004, University of Pennsylvania Press)

34. When producing craft beer, you’d be surprised at some of the odd ingredients distributors choose to use in some of their recipes. These include pastrami, candy corn, pig’s brain, avocado, seaweed, blue cheese, squid ink, chipotle peppers, cookie dough, oatmeal, coffee, and on. (Craziest and weirdest beers ever made – FoodandWine)

35. While there is a greater volume of beer brewed and distributed nowadays compared to the Middle Ages, the Europeans in the Medieval times drank much more than is consumed today. (Beer in the middle ages and the renaissance – 2004, University of Pennsylvania Press)

36.  In Oregon, a brewery called Rogue Ales developed a beer the brewmaster grew within his own beard. The beer was called, The Beard Beer. (Wikipedia)

37. In the 9th century AD, brewers started adding hops to their recipes. Now, virtually all beer is produced with hops adding zest and bitterness to the flavor and serving as a preservative. (The chemistry of beer, Hoboken NJ – 2013)

38. It is believed that Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying that “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”; however, that’s a misquote. Benjamin Franklin referenced wine in his statement, not beer, in his letter to Abbe Morellet. (7 things Benjamin Franklin never said – 2018, The Franklin Institute)

39. You can find the oldest continually operating brewery known to the world in Germany, Bavaria. The Benedictine monks at the Weihenstephan Abbey have been brewing here since 1040 AD. (History – 2018, Weihenstephaner)

40. “Snake Venom” is the strongest beer worldwide brewed by Brewmeister, A Scottish brewery. The abv of alcohol per volume is 67.5 percent. You can realize the excessiveness of that by comparing it to vodka, which is 40 percent abv, with a standard beer ranging only as high as 10 percent or less abv. (This potent new beer from Scotland has a 65.5 percent alcohol content – 2013, Business Insider)


Many people have enjoyed beer throughout the centuries; culturally and historically, it’s considered a “beloved” beverage. It’s not an entirely understood drink; it’s complex with a somewhat vague history. There’s much more to discover for aficionados who want to study beer (a zythologist – the study of beer and making beer).

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