Wheat, barley, rye, and hops, dark or light, sour or bitter. All of the varieties that could ever be dreamed of. Beer Day celebrates the entire history of this magnificent drink and everything it has to offer to the world!
When something has been around for essentially the entirety of human civilization, that must mean that it has something special about it.
So what makes beer so special?
Is it the wide variety of flavors it is available in? The frothy head and the frost that forms on a truly, perfectly chilled glass? Or is it something else entirely?
Beer Day is the perfect opportunity to dive in and sample the panorama of flavors and experiences it offers. It is the ideal day to find out exactly what it is that makes beer so absolutely special and one-of-a-kind!
History of Beer Day
The history of Beer Day goes back, well, ostensibly as far as beer. And given that there is (apparently) the entire breadth of human history to explore in the examination of this delightful drink, where is the best place to begin?
The first thing to start with is a little bit of science, and how it plays into the creation of this frothy drink. Anyone who knows anything about beer production today knows that yeast is a vital element in its creation.
However, 7000+ years ago when beer began, yeast didn’t come in nice sealed foil packages waiting for nothing more than water and sugar to be added. No, it roamed wild and free. So how did brewer’s capture it?
The first beer was almost certainly created by accident when a container of wet cereal grains was likely left open to the sky, and the wild yeasts of the surrounding area happened to fall into it. That’s right, the same method used today for ensuring that food spoils is the exact same method they used for starting up a nice rich brew!
At the time, what this meant for beer-making was that every brew created was different, even in the same area. However, some consistency eventually became possible which, at the very least it meant that certain regions were known for the particular flavors that their yeasts imparted to their local beers.
As beer developed, it began to take on the characteristics and flavors that were preferred by the people, as well as the use of the materials which were available at the time. And its history continues on today from enormous companies to small craft breweries.
Beer Day is celebrated on this day because it coincides with the day in 1933 when the 18th Amendment was repealed in the United States. This act ended 13 years of prohibition and made beer (and other alcoholic beverages) legal again. Some people like to celebrate the night before, referring to it as “New Beer’s Eve”.
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How to Celebrate Beer Day
For those who enjoy a cold beer on a hot day (or even a warm beer on a cold day!) Beer Day is all about taking in the experience. Try these ways to give a nod to the day:
Get Friends Together to Celebrate Beer Day
Celebrating Beer Day is probably one of the greatest celebrations a dedicated beer lover can have! Simply go out and buy a selection of favorite brews, and also a few varieties that may be new. Get friends together to share their favorite flavors and to bring a few new options to the mix.
People may talk about wine as the pinnacle of culture, but these people have simply never had the joy of a beer sampler from a local brewery, or discovering the hoppy nature of a little-known beer.
Is Beer Day for Beer Hipsters? It’s possible. But it’s also for anyone who happens to love a tasty brew.
Visit a Local Brewery
In today’s beer culture, it’s easy to find a local craft brewery that offers tours, tastings, and even other fun activities. While many are located in larger cities, some have also begun to see the beauty in placing their beer brewery locations outside the city limits–on farms or in rural areas. Some have even converted old barns or farm buildings to house their beer-making equipment and activities.
Once at the brewery, learn the history of beer itself as well as the local history of the particular place and types of beer brewed. See the production lines and hear stories while on the tour. A beer tasting is likely to be on offer, sometimes tapped directly from the tanks to ensure freshness.
Engage in Beer Tourism
For those hard-core beer lovers, it only makes sense to combine a vacation with the soaking up of all-things-beer. Try visiting these cities that are famous for their beer industries:
- Munich, Germany. The originating city for Oktoberfest in 1810 is fabulous–and not only in October. They make beer all year round! While there, enjoy Hofbrauhaus or Augustiner-Bräu beer halls, where it is customary to sing German songs and slam glasses onto the wooden tables.
- Pilsen, Czech Republic. Why not visit the country that has (by far) the highest annual per capita beer consumption in the world? They must know something about beer. The origins of the pale golden Pilsner beer (named after the city) began here in 1839, which makes a tour of the Pilsner Urquell Brewery a must-see.
- Portland, Oregon, USA. With more than 70 breweries (not counting the suburbs), this is one of the biggest homes of beer in America. Filled with all different varieties of craft beer (like Hair of the Dog), there’s something for every beer lover in the City of Roses.
- Tokyo, Japan. In recent years, the beer culture in Asia has begun to grow. This is evidenced by the fact that Tokyo now boasts more than 400 craft breweries and taprooms. When in the city, the quintessential visit is to Popeye (Ryogoku), the famous spot with more than 70 beers on tap!