Barley beer, the fermented beverage, owes its origin to the agrarian civilization. It is one of the oldest beverages first produced about 5,000 years ago by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. It was used as a currency to pay workers in the city of Uruk (modern-day Iraq). Even workers who build the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, were given four to five litres of beer known as Hqt, heqet, or heket, as a source of nutrition, including vitamins, minerals, and protein. Though the recipe may have changed with modern brews, the love for beer remains unchanged.
Beer is now the third most consumed beverage after water and tea. This year on Friday, August 6, 2021, the beer lovers of the world will once again honour the fizzy fun beverage.
How did International Beer Day start?
On August 5, 2007, when Jesse Avshalomov decided to celebrate the very existence of beer, the brewing industries, and the art of brewing beer in Santa Cruz, California, he called it – International Beer Day. People put aside their work, set aside differences, and came together to celebrate over a pint of beer.
According to Jesse, the International Beer Day started with the purpose to — gather friends to taste and celebrate beers, celebrate those responsible for brewing and serving beer, and to unite the world under the banner of beer by celebrating beers of different nations together on a single day.
On this day, beer lovers give one another the gift of beer by buying each other drinks. Pub crawlers and beer lovers also buy beers for craft brewers, bartenders, and other beer technicians to show appreciation and express gratitude. It is also the day when the microbreweries launch new craft beers or serve beers of all nations.
The annual celebrations in the US soon began to gain popularity and international recognition.
Until 2012, the world celebrated International Beer Day on August 5. But as beer fans worldwide started to voice their preference to celebrate at the beginning of a weekend, the founder Jesse Avshalomov, decided to reschedule the date. After conducting a public poll, the International Beer Day moved to the first Friday in August.
Now on August 6, 2021, beer drinkers from 207 cities, 80 countries, and 6 continents will come together to toast International Beer Day.
How is International Beer Day celebrated?
Pubs and microbreweries around the world have special offers or hold all-day Happy Hours along with fun events like ‘beer trivias’ and also design special menus to celebrate International Beer Day with the best craft beers, beer cocktails, and beer food pairings.
It is a day to toast the Beer Makers, join a beer day event, try a new kind of beer, and go binge drinking with your best beer buddies.
Best beers 2021
This International Beer Day, try out a new beer. Here are some favourites from around the world:
• Miller High Life, USA
• Pilsner Urquell, Czech Republic
• Köstritzer Schwarzbier, Germany
• Fat Tire Amber Ale, Belgium
• Newcastle Brown Ale, UK
• Collective Arts Guava Gose, Canada
• Kati Patang, Bhutan
• Maka Di, Goa, India
• Bira 91, Delhi, India
• Bangalore Daze, IPA, Bangalore, India
Drivers of growth
There is an exponential rise in the consumption of beer worldwide. The two main drivers of growth are – the increasing incomes and demand for a variety of beers.
Besides the above two, there is also a consumer shift from spirits to low alcohol beverages and the entry of small brewers serving artisanal craft brews that is contributing to the growth of beer industry around the world.
In 2025, the global beer industry is expected to be worth $710.89 billion.
Celebrating in India’s Top Microbreweries
Here are some of the top breweries in India to visit on International Beer Day
• Red Rhino, Bangalore
• Arbor Brewing Company, Bangalore
• Doolally Craft Beers, Pune
• Ministry of Beer, New Delhi
• Gateway Brewing Company, Mumbai
Craft Beer Revolution in India
Craft beer has revolutionized the beer industry in India. Today upscale craft beer drinkers, especially in the metros, are contributing to the robust growth of the beverage. What started as a small experiment to serve craft beers, made by a microbrewery in 2006, has now turned into a legendary experience for beer lovers. The changing tastes, willingness to experiment, and a better understanding of craft beer have disrupted the commercial beer market. The young and not-so-young beer consumers across the country are gravitating to two styles – wheat-based ales and clean, crispy lagers. These preferred craft beers are often on the sweet side and low in bitterness.
By 2024, the craft beer segment in the country is likely to touch $900.0 million. The fermented beverage has come a long way from an agrarian to digital civilization.
To celebrate or not International beer day 2021
With the coronavirus restrictions, International Beer Day may be celebrated differently around the world. Some countries may allow beer day celebrations in a microbrewery or pub after following safety norms. Others may have people celebrate at home or even online. So, visit your neighbourhood brewery or order your craft beer online with the right food to please your palate. Better still, ‘gift a beer’ to your friendly microbrewery server or a friend. Whatever you choose to do, make it beery special!
It is time to toast to good health while continuing to solve the world’s ongoing problems over a few pints of beer.