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Happy International Beer Day!

I have to admit: 2020 is not really the year for big festivals. But one look at the calendar tells me that there would still in actual fact be a reason to celebrate every day, same as every year, because it seems that every day has been dedicated to quite a special (more or less) momentous topic: for example, 19 February is Chocolate Mint Day. Well okay, you sometimes really wonder what exactly you’re supposed to be celebrating on some of these days. Or can you explain to me what Chocolate Mint Day is all about, or why there is an international Talk Like a Pirate Day and a Thread the Needle Day? Today, on International Beer Day, you can obviously understand the reason for celebrating straight away – I’m sure you will all agree that beer definitely deserves to be celebrated. But here, too, there’s more to it than just that: precisely in what way is this day celebrated, and how did it come about? When you read on, you’ll learn just the facts you need for showing off today. 😉

International Beer Day is celebrated every year on the first Friday in August, meaning on 7 August this year, for what is already the thirteenth time. But the date has changed slightly during these thirteen years. 5 August had initially been chosen as the date. Following a survey in 2012, however, it was then decided to opt for a Friday, irrespective of the date concerned – after all, you can celebrate better and more thoroughly on a Friday, can’t you?

Meanwhile, International Beer Day is celebrated in about 60 different countries, in roughly 200 towns and cities and on six continents. But it originated in California, in Santa Cruz, to be precise. There, Jesse Avshalomov and some of his friends celebrated the first International Beer Day in August 2007. Beforehand, they had talked the owner of their local into hosting the event. They themselves created a website specifically dedicated to this occasion and promptly received mails from other beer fans who – inspired by this idea – took the opportunity to celebrate beer in their region on this particular date, too. It was then that the friends realised this whole thing was to grow into something much bigger.

It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that so many people are eager to join in the celebrations in honour of beer. But as we have seen time and time again here on our blog, the subject of beer can be a highly complex one. So what did the founders have in mind when they inaugurated this day? Originally, their main point was to honour the brewers and the brewing craft, and it wasn’t long before this included barkeepers as well. In the meantime, the focus has been on three main aspects that the initiators had in mind when they introduced this day: to meet up with friends and enjoy the taste of beer together, to honour the brewers of beer and the people pouring it, and in the broadest sense to unite the world in celebrating the beers of all nations on one particular day. So much for the theory. In actual practice, there are of course a whole lot more options for how this day is best spent. For example, the day offers an excellent opportunity for exchanging news and views on anything to do with brewing. Many people use it to try out new beer styles in a bar, or to take part in guided tours through breweries, so as to gain a better insight into the brewing craft. And if you are yourself actively brewing beer, this day is also ideal for inviting friends and getting some feedback on your own brew. Some celebrations will surely look a bit different this year. But following our excursion into the virtual world of beer a few months ago, I am definitely sure that there will again be some creative alternatives to mark this day. Perhaps one or the other among you even knows of some great virtual (in other words: coronavirus-compatible) initiatives? If so, please feel free to let us know about them in the comments!

In any case, the options for how to spend this day are many and varied – and every one of us can celebrate our favourite drink in his/her own personal way. I for my part will today pay a visit to my favourite spot for drinking beer: the beer garden – where I will, of course, pass on my newly acquired knowledge about this special day. So all that’s left to me now is to wish you all an enjoyable time in honour of beer – Cheers! Just one more bit of important information: 19 September is Talk Like a Pirate Day – maybe by then I will even know what exactly this is all about. 😉

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