It’s international beer day this coming Friday – something which we take extremely seriously here at WOW.
That’s why we’re running a whole week of fun blogs, features and guides that celebrate everything that’s best about the boozy nectar. First up, to properly introduce you to the world of beer, here are some fascinating facts and stories that will (probably) amaze you.
1. The longest hangover lasted more than a month
The longest hangover officially recorded happened in 2007, when a Glaswegian man drank a total of 60 pints in the space of four days. The man went to the hospital and complained that he had a headache that had been consistent for four weeks. Doctors were at first stumped, until the inevitable off-the-record blood tests returned.
The total time for the hangover was 40 days. Now that certainly puts your “mental night out” to shame doesn’t it? There is simply no fry-up big enough.
2. The Czech Republic are the biggest beer guzzlers
Per capita, the Czech Republic consumes 40 gallons of beer annually. Before any excuses are made, the Czechs are leading the league tables by far, with Ireland a lowly second by more than 20 litres.
This is not good enough Britain. We need to step our game up. Let beer week be the week where things change forever. I’m looking at you, Glasgow.
3. The Vikings worshipped beer
In Viking mythology, it is said that in Valhalla there was a goat whose udders produced beer for all to drink. Not the most iconic of gods, I will admit, but a god nonetheless. The goat was named Heiorun and was held in high regard by the Vikings, acting as an incentive to die in battle.
That is dedication to the drink, where you’re willing to die to have a pint. Mind you, have you ever been to a Wetherspoons on a Saturday night? I’d like to see a Viking in there.
4. Wife Carriers covet it
At the Official Wife Carrying World Chamionships, a competition where a man will carry his wife through an obstacle course as quickly as possible, the first prize is the woman’s weight in beer.
I know, this seems like a slightly archaic sport, but they have proper costumes and everything. I’m sure many people have gotten married simply for the chance of winning all that lovely beer.
5. Beer out of a can is technically better
Contrary to popular belief, apparently beer that is drunk out of a can is more likely to taste right. It is light that makes beer go bad, and the opaqueness of the can prevents that entirely.
So you can whip this little nugget out the next time your mate in the pub comes out with “oh, it tastes so much better out of a glass”. No mate, it doesn’t.
6. It used to be drunk more than water
In the middle ages, beer was used as a substitute to water for hydration. The heavy levels of water pollution meant that, essentially, beer was safer to drink on a regular basis.
If that’s all it takes, then I guess we all know what to do: POLLUTE THE WATER SUPPLY! (NB: don’t really do that).
7. Alcoholics are paid with beer in Holland
In Amsterdam, as part of a particular rehabilitation program, alcoholics are paid with five cans of beer to clean the streets and work on various other projects. According to them, the rest of the world needs to forget their “old fashioned political correctness” and revolutionise their methods.
Now, I’m all for trying a slightly alternative approach to practices. But paying alcoholics with cans of beer? How has nobody clicked on to the fact that that may not be the best idea? That’s like giving a reformed Jason Voorhees a blood smothered machete and jogging slowly in front of him.
8. The Russians drank it like pop
It is a well known fact that Russians didn’t use to consider beer to be an alcoholic beverage, but that staggering reality may have been closer to our time that you think. It wasn’t until 2013 that the stance on beer was officially changed. So up until 2 years ago, according to anecdotes, it was not uncommon to have a four-pack of beer on a lunch break.
“What’ve you got for lunch Vladamir?”
“Just a cheese toasty and a few Carling.”
“You get Carling? My misses makes me settle for Special Brew.”
9. Hangover in Norway means ‘carpenters in the head’
Probably the most poetic of these facts. Yes, In Norwegian, the word for ‘hangover’ literally translates as ‘carpenters in the head’, presumably because it feels like someone is hammering your brain after a heavy night of drinking. It’s hard to argue with their reasoning, but they didn’t go far enough.
If the Norwegian have a word for ‘massive pain eruption somewhere between my ears that is causing me to literally throw up, oh Jesus Christ Alan why did you let me have that last Jagerbomb, this isn’t funny I am literally going to die, get me the bucket, get me a doctor, get me a Mcdonalds’, then they should start using that instead.