International Beer Day gives ale lovers a reason to toast

That Friday night frothy will taste extra good this week. 

CHEERS TO THAT: Where will you be celebrating tomorrow night? Photo: Simon O'Dwyer

CHEERS TO THAT: Where will you be celebrating tomorrow night? Photo: Simon O'Dwyer

August 4 is International Beer Day

There seems to be a day for just about everything these days, Milk Day (June 1), Wiggle Your Toes Day (August 6) and Talk like Shakespeare Day (April 23). 

It’s all about crackin’ a coldie.

In backyards, bars and breweries around the world people will be toasting the bartenders and brewers of this planet. 

The holiday started in 2008 and takes place annually on the first Friday in August, and it’s celebrated in more than 200 cities around the world.

The purpose is to gather with friends and enjoy the deliciousness that is beer, to honor the dedicated men and women who brew and serve our beer and to bring the world together by toasting beers of all nations and cultures.

If you are celebrating one of life’s milestones or just the end of the working week don’t forget to toast beer. 

Brewers Association CEO Brett Heffernan said Australia is blessed with perfect conditions for making and enjoying the best beers in the world, sourcing one million tonnes of highly prized barley for malting and 600 tonnes of top-shelf hops from Australian farms each year.

“It is sometimes overlooked that 93% of all beer sold in Australia is made right here. As such, Australian beer supports the full-time jobs of almost 90,000 Australians and generates $15.3 billion in economic activity to be 1% of GDP. One per cent may not sound much, but, hey, it’s beer, Mr Heffernan said.

The beer expert said as an economic driver, our beer industry supports key goods and services throughout the Australian economy, including for ingredients ($239 million), materials and packaging ($682 million), transport and freight ($216 million), marketing and sales ($714 million) and administration ($364 million).

“It underpins $6.1 billion in the on-licence retail industry and $2.7 billion in the off-license retail sector, while making a valuable contribution to Australia’s hospitality and tourism sectors,” Mr Heffernan said. 

“Beer has flowed with the times. Over the last decade we have seen the popularity of low- and midstrength beers grow markedly to account for one-quarter of all beer sales in Australia today.

“Australian brewers continue to invest in low- and mid-strength options, giving people greater choice and more control over their alcohol consumption. Beer is the only alcohol category that provides credible options for people to moderate their consumption,” he said. 

Heffernan said Australians have come a long way since the days of the 6 o’clock swill of the mid-1970s.

“Today’s beer drinkers are more discerning, better informed and well equipped socially regarding responsible alcohol consumption than ever before, which is reflected in consumption per capita dropping, decade on decade, for the past 40 years, levels of harmful drinking continuing to fall and underage drinking at record lows with 82% of teens today putting off alcohol until, at least, legal age,” he said. 

“Meanwhile, the 9.1 million Australian adults who enjoy beer make a massive contribution in filling federal government coffers.

“In 2015-16, taxes on beer drinkers alone netted the Australian Government almost $2.4 billion – $2.005 billion in excise and $377 million in GST. “There’s a lot to celebrate in the lucky country… luckily we have a beer for every occasion.” 

A Few Facts About Beer

On International Beer Day impress your friends and loved ones with your never-ending knowledge of all things beer.

  1. Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids while consuming a healthy amount of beer. About 4 liters a day, to be exact. 
  2. Ancient Babylonians took the seriousness of brewing to a whole new level. If a bad batch was made the brewer was drowned in it. 
  3. Vikings believed that a giant goat resided in Valhalla whose udders were filled with an unlimited supply of beer. 
  4. The Czech Republic is the beer drinking capital of the world. Each Czech drinks an average of 40 gallons a  year. 
  5. Beer does a body good. It contains a high level of silicon which increases the calcium deposits and minerals for healthy bone tissue. Feel free to keep pouring that beer over your Fruit Loops.

Katherine Times

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