Things You Didn't Know About Beer... Probably

The third most popular drink in the world is an alcoholic beverage with a long, long history. So there must be things you didn't know about beer.

Were it not for beer, it'd be a lot harder to relax after a long day of dealing with things women are expected to do at work but shouldn't. Sure, I've got the best motivational soccer quotes to remember before a game to energize me on and off the field, but sometimes motivational soccer quotes just aren't enough and it takes a drink for me to howl at the moon like the women who run with the wolves. 

So, out of respect, I dipped my toes into zythology,  the study of beer.  I peeked at a beer ad from 4000BC, the oldest in the world!  I discovered that marijuana and hops are both flowering plants in the same family. And I learned that beer raises good cholesterol levels, which is linked to improved cardiovascular and cognitive health. By learning the things you didn't know about beer I learned that there's more to beer than drinking it.

Pyramid builders were paid in beer.

Wow! Egyptian pyramid workers were paid with beer. Patrick McGovern, dubbed "The Beer Archaeologist" by Smithsonian Mag, said that, “You would have had a rebellion on your hands if they’d run out. The pyramids might not have been built if there hadn’t been enough beer.” I know that I would raise quite the stink if my We Work office space ran out of beer in our 8th-floor bar. Yeah, I work in a co-operative workspace with beer on tap. I CAN NOT COMPLAIN BUT I WILL STILL COMPLAIN! Beer on tap doesn't make America's colonialist relationship with Puerto Rico any easier to handle. 

Women made most of the beer in Ancient Egypt.

Women and Beer: a 4,500-year history is coming full circle. Or so reported The Atlantic. GOOD! Egypt was home to some of the oldest recordings of beer consumption, and for a long time beer was brewed primarily by women. And then commodification came along and men became the primary brewers and merchants of beer. 

Fast-forward to the 20th-century and beer consumption and production has become highly gendered. It's a drink for dudes and women are regulated to being, "and Twins!" It's so pervasive that it's one of the things boys learn by age 5 that perpetuate rape culture. I need a beer to get over just thinking about it!

Beer is good for bones.

Women have less bone density from the get-go and lose bone mass faster as they age relative to men. EVEN IN THE CONTEXT OF HEALTH WOMEN ARE TALKED ABOUT IN RELATION TO MEN RATHER THAN AS BEINGS IN AND OF THEMSELVES! SO MAD RIGHT NOW; GIVE ME BEER! 

Estrogen is a hormone that both governs female reproduction and keeps bones healthy. Before menopause, women have more estrogen but afterward there's a huge dip, which means more bone loss and potentially osteoporosis. But scientists have been studying the effects of beer, wine, and liquor intakes on bone mineral density in older men and women. Turns out, beer can be good for bones. Pout me another!

Beer will survive an atomic blast.

America; what a country! The U.S. explodes atomic bombs near beers to see if they are safe to drink. WHAT ARE YOU PREPARING FOR, AMERICA?! So long as your beer is 1,270 feet away from ground zero, you can drink it. Good to know because the minute after a nuke goes off I'm definitely going to want a drink! I'll also know to blame Homeopathic  Hitler

There's a patron saint of beer!

For a long time, people didn’t know that the bubonic plague was caused by a bacteria that lived in rodents, mainly rats, and the fleas that feed on them. They also didn’t know that boiling water killed that bacteria. Beer brewers, meanwhile, had been boiling their water as part of the brewing process. 

A monk named Arnold noticed the connection between beer and not getting the plague and ended up convincing people to drink beer instead of water, saving a lot of lives. So, he was made Saint Arnold, patron Saint of beer. I'd like to be a patron Saint of ASSERTING MY AGENCY IN A PROFESSIONAL FIELD DOMINATED BY MEN! What-what I'm a badass database administrator!

People drink beer after running.

There's a number of reasons that people drink beer after running or other demanding sports. It's high in antioxidants and B vitamins, the carbs can aid in recovery, and it can relax you once you can cross the finish line. Only 1/3rd of the calories in beer come from carbs, however, so it's a good idea to eat something carb-heavy afterward to restore your energy levels. Like pizza, which goes great with beer!

5 companies control most of the beer in the world.

Did you have a drink today? Then chances are it was a drink brewed by one of five companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, Molson Coors, Heineken, Diageo, and Carlsberg. These are the companies that control most of the beer in the world, including many that you think of as craft beer. This is an issue because these companies exercise so much power. I think we need to keep power in check because unchecked power can run rampant over us all. Sometimes my awareness of power dynamics can be too much. That's when I reach for a beer!

There's an exact way to pour a Guinness.

I love Guinness! And I just learned that to pour a Guinness just right you have to wait exactly 119.5 seconds after your first pour for the top-up. Those 119.5 seconds are called the "surge and settle." That's when the nitrogen comes up to form Guinness's signature creamy top. Although, I call that time, "Hurry up and give me my beer!" 

Beer is a good foot soak.

I have size 10 feet. IT IS MY BURDEN TO BEAR. I also have extra thick skin on the bottom of my feet. DO NOT PRESS ME ON THIS. As a result, shoe shopping is hard and foot self-care is even harder. My feet often suffer as a result and I feel even more self-conscious about them, which makes me even less likely to practice foot care. It's a vicious cycle; a foot ouroboros. A FOOT EATING ITSELF. 

To trick myself into taking care of my feet, I buy a six-pack of Guinness. Half is for me and the other half gets poured into a tub with white vinegar and an acidophilus sachet. It works! But it's still hard to have these feet. Le sigh. At least I drank beer!

Hops are poisonous to pets, so keep a sharp eye on your pellets if you’re homebrewing.

I've read the ultimate guide of fruits and vegetables that dogs can and cannot eat, but hops were not on that list. Good to know because I will totally steal your dog if I sense it's in danger. I will put it in my bag and quietly walk away, and then break into a run the minute I'm out the door. THE PUP IS STAYING WITH ME. Pups and beer are some of the few things that help me make it through this world. And memes. And binge watching Netflix shows. And my Hitachi Magic Wand. 

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Things You Didn't Know About Beer... Probably
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