In honour of National Beer Day (June 15), let’s raise a glass to the fact beer makes you smarter.
Or at least, makes you more of a know-it-all after a skinful at the pub.
Seriously though – in proper legit experiments sozzled participants scored better then their dowdy sober counterparts at certain cerebral tasks.
Although boffins noted, unsurprisingly, that the inebriated group sucked at memory-based challenges.
Therefore, fellow soaks, it might be an idea to print out and keep my rundown of timeless tankard trivia…
The earliest known building on the site of Downing Street was a brewery
Until around 1500, the seat of UK power was occupied by a brewery.
Although strangely most subsequent inhabitants seem incapable of organising a piss-up in one.
In Medieval times, beer was safer to drink than water
OK, it was partly made using water, drawn from the river.
But the boiling and fermentation process neutralised the majority of nasty microbes.
Meaning it was safer, even for kids – and probably helped them sleep.
Henry VIII employed two brewers
One for beer, one for ale.
Between them, this Dionysian duo reputedly cranked out a dizzying 13,000 pints each and every day.
Little wonder theirs is known as the Merrie England period.
In 1814 London suffered a Great Beer Flood
Just over two centuries ago a giant vat of porter exploded at the former Horse Shoe Brewery on Tottenham Court Road.
Over a million litres flooded the cobbled streets.
It drowned eight people in what was then a densely-packed slum.
Civilisation is literally founded on beer drinking
Some legit academics have argued that ancient nomadic goatherds, who roamed far and wide seeking fresh pasture for their flock, only settled permanently for one reason.
So they could carefully cultivate, harvest and ferment barley.
Then get pissed.
St Paul’s sold 70,000 gallons of beer a year in the 13th century
Beer and Christianity go way back.
Indeed, Medieval masons often used ale instead of water in the mortar that built many of the churches and abbeys that stand to this day.
Brick Lane was once home to the largest brewery in the world
Nowadays a trendy mishmash of music venues, galleries and hipster pop-ups, the old Black Eagle Brewery once churned out nigh-on 40,000 barrels of delicious foamy goodness every day.
Builders of the ‘Great Pyramid’ were paid in beer
And surprisingly it turned out OK.
Unless of course the original idea was to build a ‘Great Cube’ and the workforce just got lazier and lazier…
Physicist Niels Bohr had a pipeline carrying beer directly into his house
Rightly proud of their homegrown Nobel Prize-winning hero, Danish brewers Carlsberg showed their appreciation in 1922 by gifting the quantum pioneer a house right next to its Copenhagen brewery – including a pipeline delivering free foamy suds, on tap, for life.
In the 1980s a beer-drinking goat was voted mayor of a US town
Frustrated by corrupt politicians, the good people of Lajitas, Texas, elected well-known local goat Clay Henry mayor.
Clay was famous (since you ask) for wandering into taverns and slurping beer from patrons’ glasses
This horned luminary is known to have signed at least one piece of real legislation, with his hoof.
He died after an altercation with another goat, and to this day remains an arresting icon of democracy – stuffed, with a beer bottle wedged in his gob.
And finally, this guy…
President Franklin D. Roosevelt ended Prohibition, a naive and short-lived experiment when the US government attempted to ban all alcoholic drinks.
His immortal words when the legislation passed in 1933?
‘What America needs now is a drink.’