So much beer, so little time! National Drink Beer Day on September 28 always puts us in mind of Forrest Gump and his recitation of all the different kinds of shrimp he loves. Remember? Well, today, we consider all the beers that makes us happy. You’ve got porters, ales, lagers, stouts, bocks and all points in between.
Like most things, we look to the ancient Egyptians for answers. Historians point to beer as a ceremonial drink over 5,000 years ago because papyrus scrolls have been discovered documenting early beer recipes. But the Mesopotamians may have actually been the first to develop beer over 10,000 years ago, before recorded history.
Beer made its way to Europe and gained popularity during the Middle Ages. (Why drink polluted, possibly contaminated water, when you can drink a safer alternative, beer?) Eventually, German monks became master brewers, coming up with some of the fermentation techniques that brought the world closer to the beer we know and love today.
Did you know in European cities like Prague — ordering beer in a restaurant is cheaper than ordering water?
Europeans who arrived in the New World actually complained when they were out of beer and had to brew more. (Apparently, the love of beer was so strong, that upon arrival, brewing beer was one of the first things on the Pilgrims’ to-do list!)
Today, there are light beers with great flavor and less calories as well as dark beers like Guinness, served up warm in authentic English, Scottish and Irish pubs alike. There are ales and lagers which are distinguished by the type of yeast used in the fermentation process.
Is craft beer on your radar? Millennials especially are showing much more refined palates and a broad knowledge of all kinds of beer. You’ll find a wide spectrum of craft brews, foreign and domestic, to fit every taste.
If you’re really looking for something different, try hard cider. It has a great “kick” to it! Plus, Foodie Alert: Don’t miss the perfect opportunity to pair a great beer with a delicious dish. And if you’re the adventurous sort, DIY with a home brew kit.
So on National Drink Beer Day, drink responsibly and in moderation, but enjoy. Just this once, pass up the white wine or your evening Cabernet. Get a frothy, ice-cold glass of beer with a good “head” on it and remember that beer is no longer just your parents’ brew!
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National Drink Beer Day Activities
Taste beer right at the brewery
Want to try some new beers? Visit your local brewery and order a "flight" of their beers to taste test. Bring friends, compare notes, and rate your favorite brews.
Brew your own
Become the brew master you've always wanted to be by finally making your own beer! Start by enjoying the final product on National Drink Beer Day. You can purchase beer-making kits online and in specialty stores to help you get brewing!
Share a drink with your friends
Can’t get to a brewery? Don't want to make your own beer? No worries! Have some friends over for a cookout or a relaxing afternoon catching up over a few beers.
Why We Love National Drink Beer Day
Beer equals variety
With craft breweries quickly growing in number, there are more varieties of beer than ever before. There are nitro brews, milk stouts, IPAs, EPAs, lagers, ales, wheat beers, pilsners, porters and saisons. There are beers infused with coffee, chocolate, ginger, grapefruit, orange and other fruits and spices. "Boring" beer? Never!
Beer equals good times
While it's relaxing to have a cold one when you get home from work, or to drink a brewski with your dinner, it’s also great to enjoy beer with friends. Cookouts, laid-back hangouts at a local bar, parties and festivals are all great occasions to knock back an icy cold beer.
Beer equals confidence (kinda, sorta)
Let's face it, we love the fact that beer, like other forms of alcohol, gives a little boost in self-confidence. We feel more at ease in crowds and find it easier to navigate in social settings. Just be sure not to go overboard or let alcohol become your crutch. Drinking a beer is cool as long as you're responsible!