Food & Drink

7 mind-blowing facts about beer

Beer flight
Laura Hayes

The science-themed web series It's Okay To Be Smart recently put its brains to use on the noblest of topics: brew science. And while you should definitely go watch it and learn all about brettanomyces, we were especially intrigued by the awesome pop-up facts they scattered throughout the show. Here are seven of the best to drop at your next beer fest as you're hobnobbing with serious suds nerds.


The first evidence of "modern" beer goes back to 3400 BC

It was discovered in what is now Iran, and most likely unearthed by Indiana Jones himself.

In fact, many anthropologists would argue beer predates bread*

*At least according to the brewer they interviewed, who seems pretty knowledgeable and generally trustworthy.  

The Czech Republic drinks more beer than anyone

The land of pilsners out-drinks every country in the world. Each Czech imbibes almost 150 liters annually -- for a handy visual aid, imagine 150 of those giant Oktoberfest beer mugs. Yeah. Prague's not messing around.

George Washington's troops were paid in beer

Only partially, but still! The builders of the Great Pyramids were, too, though Washington's boozy wages make a little more sense.

Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty glass

And it's a very real problem.

Nearly 200 billion liters of beer were produced worldwide in 2012

That'd be 187 billion, to be precise. That's also about half the volume of all humans on the planet, so you definitely don't need to worry about an imminent beer shortage.

Dogfish Head Celest-jewel-ale
Dogfish Head

Someone made a beer with moon dust

But of course, you already knew that.


Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist. If she had a time machine, she'd want to party with George Washington. Follow her to historical dreams at @kristin_hunt.