50 Interesting Facts about Alcoholic Beverages

26Teddy Roosevelt

When Teddy Roosevelt was a young child, doctors prescribed him whiskey and cigars to relieve his severe asthma.

27. Before Champagne became popular, fizz in wine was considered a bad thing and benedictine monk Dom Perignon worked to eliminate it. Wines from Champagne had a tendency to fizz because early frosts often led to incomplete fermentation during the manufacturing process.

28. Alcohol is prohibited in the British Parliament with one exception: the chancellor can drink while delivering the annual budget statement.

29. The Ancient Babylonians took their beer so seriously, if a brewer was found to be watering down his beer, he'd either be drowned in the barrel or forced to keep drinking it till he died.

30. Dr. Soren Sorensen (Danish chemist) developed the pH scale in order to test the acidity of beer to ultimately make better beer.

31Raul Cano

In 2011, a biology professor named Raul Cano extracted yeast from a 45 million-year-old insect trapped in amber and brewed beer from it.

32. Pennsylvania still charges its citizens an 18% tax on alcohol to pay for damages of the 1936 Johnstown flood.

33. One reason menus list a very expensive wine or specialty food item is to make everything else on the menu seem more reasonable, causing diners to spend more than they normally would.

34. A feral pig in Australia stole 18 beers from a campsite, got drunk, and then tried to fight a cow.

35. 10,000 light years away from Earth, there is a huge cloud of alcohol (Sagittarius B). It is 1000 times larger than the diameter of our solar system and contains enough alcohol to fill 400 trillion trillion pints. To drink all of it, everyone on Earth would have to drink 300,000 pints each day for 1 billion years.

36George Cassiday

During prohibition, Congress had their own bootlegger (George Cassiday) so senators and congressmen could still drink alcohol.

37. The Austrian wine market collapsed in 1985 when it was discovered that winemakers were adding antifreeze to artificially sweeten the wine.

38. When George Washington first ran for the Virginia House of Burgesses, he supplied 164 gallons of alcohol to only 396 voters so that they would like him. Washington won.

39. Russia banned the sale of vodka during World War I. The government immediately lost a third of its income.

40. A Texas A&M study invited people to taste wines labeled "France," "California," and "Texas," and while nearly all ranked the French as best, in fact, all three were the same Texan wine.

41Ten Cent Beer Night

In 1974, the Cleveland Indians had a $0.10 Beer Night. Cleveland had to forfeit the game when their drunk fans started a riot during the 9th inning. Players had to attack fans with baseball bats to protect themselves.

42. Pythagoras invented a practical joke cup that would spill wine all over a person if they filled their cup too much.

43. Smirnoff Vodka's creator Pyotr Smirnov launched his brand to quick success in 1864 by giving panhandlers food and drink in return for asking them to fan out around the city of Moscow, demanding Smirnoff Vodka at local bars.

44. In the 1500s, British sailors would receive rations of rum as partial payment. To ensure the rum wasn’t watered down, they would measure the proof by dousing gunpowder with it, and then test to see if the gunpowder would ignite. The gunpowder would only ignite if the rum was greater than 57% alcohol by volume.

45. In 2000, a Wild Turkey whiskey storage facility caught fire, spilling 17,000 barrels of flaming whiskey into the surrounding woods, catching them ablaze. 20% of the whiskey flowed into the Kentucky River, disrupting its oxygen supply, killing 228,000 fish along 66 miles of the river.

46Stein Arvid Husbey

In June of 1985, a drunk student named Stein Arvid Husbey hijacked a Boeing in Norway demanding to talk to the prime minister (Kåre Willoch). He later surrendered in exchange for more beer.

47. A "blind pig" was a lower-class establishment that sold alcohol during Prohibition (in contrast to a higher-class "speakeasy"). The owner would charge customers to see an attraction (such as an animal) and then serve a "complimentary" alcoholic beverage, thus circumventing the law.

48. The Code of Hammurabi decreed that bartenders who watered down beer would be executed.

49. There is a whiskey boom in the state of Washington. Coupled with its more lax distilling laws, Washington is very similar to Scotland with its wet, temperate climate and arable coastal locations that make for an ideal place to grow barley for whiskey.

50. Before Coca-Cola, there was Coca Wine, 10% alcohol, and 8.5% cocaine extract by volume, and endorsed by Queen Victoria and Pope Leo XIII.

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