Random Beer Facts

by Kerrice Mapes
Drink in these random beer facts–information that just might be useful, someday.

I had the honor of being a guest on Ballots + Brews, a weekly KSEF digital radio show with host Angel Romero and didn’t want to come to the party empty handed. As it was a virtual party / show, I decided to flip the script on Angel and test his beer knowledge (luckily, he didn’t ask me my political knowledge). Drink in these random beer facts–information that will enable you to sound smarter at parties, when we once again party.

The first modern American IPA was Anchor Liberty Ale

A single, dry-hopped West Coast IPA brewed at Anchor Brewing Co. in San Fran, this Ballots + Brews mainstay has remained loyal to its constitution of brewing for over 40 years. The only modern difference is you may now enjoy in cans.

Beer cans from the way back

Locally, Tallgrass brought canning into the our beer world, but Krueger, a brewery in Newark, NJ teamed up with a canning company to package Kreuger Special Beer back in 1933. Not so scary, the beer was a mere 3.2% ABV, what the law allowed back then.

Schlitz is the shitz

The Milwaukee-founded brand was the first to block out the sun via a brown bottle back in 1911. Lucky for you, they also invented the tall boy–caring something fun in tiny paper bags will most likely be the next hipster craze.

Homebrewing became legal just seven years ago, in two states

Homebrewing is a cornerstone of the craft beer movement in the USA, however outdated laws in Mississippi and Alabama weren’t rectified until 2013, legalizing homebrewing. Perhaps they will legalized rock ‘n’ roll next.

Medical Beer

“Medical beer” was an obviously made-up cause that “brewers, physicians, and imbibers” used to try to skirt Prohibition’s nasty laws in 1921, according to Smithsonian.com. It worked, and doctors could prescribe beer from March 1921 until November 1921, when Congress changed their minds and banned it once again. And no one ever had a beer ever again in the United States of America.

Kansas had some of the longest prohibition laws on books, but they too participated in the medial loophole. Druggists could sell liquor to anyone who signed a statement testifying to their disease and the amount of alcohol they desired. No prescriptions were needed.

Alcohol was thought to treat rheumatism, nervousness, diarrhea and asthma. There was even a cure-all for “feminine troubles” – Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound contained 18 percent alcohol, slightly more than a bottle of wine, according to a Wichita Eagle article in October 1986.

Free State Brewing Co.

Free State Brewing Co. in Lawrence became the first legal brewery in Kansas in more than a century when it opened its doors in 1989.

Lagers in the oval office

Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Barack Obama were all homebrewers.

Don’t chill it ’til the mountains are blue

Your tongue is unable to perceive as many flavours when it is cold; translation: this means that ale, with its complex flavour profile, is better served at room temperature, while lager works well chilled as it has fewer flavours to lose. 

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