Beer is one of the oldest drinks in the world, and according to some archaeological studies may have been the first example of chemistry in the history of the world.
The earliest known beer was believed to have been made by the Natufians over 13,000 years ago before many of the earliest civilisations were founded.
During that time many stories, traditions and beliefs have emerged surrounding the world’s third most popular beverage, so grab a healthy beer and enjoy some of the most unique, albeit sadly untrue urban myths surrounding beer.
Corona’s Dirty, Untrue Secret
Competition ultimately brings out a side to many people that they would rather people did not see, particularly with those who will go to any lengths to win, or at least stop others from winning.
Such was the case of one of the most disgusting acts of libel ever seen in the beer industry. Corona Extra beer (not related to the old frothy drink) has seemingly always had some level of bad luck that spans far further back than the events of 2020.
Corona was first exported into the United States in 1979, and due to its vivid appearance, unique serving suggestions (involving a wedge of lemon or lime in the neck) and beach-friendly image became very popular to the point that by 1998 it had become the most popular imported drink in the country.
However, it was so very nearly scuppered by rival distributors who spread a slanderous and racist rumour that the drink contained human waste and despite being an obvious lie, led to some regions dropping the brand and others seeing exceptional damage to their sales.
The US importer Barton Beers, who handled Corona Extra’s sales in West USA, facing an implosion of sales, investigated where the rumour came from, and it turned out to be a rival distributor, Luce & Son, who handled the sales of Heineken and other competing lagers.
After Barton Beers sued, a settlement was reached and public statements were issued debunking the claim, although in some circles the rumour persists.
Irish Guinness Is Better Than The Rest
The exceptionally popular stout Guinness will be associated with three key ideas in the minds of many people: Ireland, the World Records and that advert with the surfers from 20 years ago.
The association Guinness has with its homeland is so strong that some people genuinely believe that Guinness served in Ireland tastes so much better that they use a different brewing process compared to the rest of the world.
This isn’t entirely true. Part of why it tastes better comes down to sentimentality, as having an Irish drink in Ireland as a tourist or non-national is something of a novelty. However, as Guinness is so popular, the barrels are regularly changed, meaning that it is likely a fresher glass than in other countries.
Great Beer Balls Of Fire
Goodness, gracious. One of the greatest, most enduring and most untrue rumours surrounding beer is the story of the hydrogen beer lawsuit in Japan.
The rumour, which was sometimes published in actual newspapers, was that there was a three-way lawsuit between the ‘Asaka Beer Corporation’ (which does not exist due to Japanese government regulations surrounding beer manufacture), the Tike Take karaoke bar and an unemployed stockbroker.
The idea was that ‘hydrogen beer’ (which does not appear to exist) created a helium-like effect in large quantities as well as allowing people to breathe fire, leading to karaoke/fire-breathing hybrid contests.
One of these involved Toshira Otoma drinking 15 cans of hydrogen beer, throwing huge fireballs but losing the contest because he couldn’t sing after 15 cans. He then threw fireballs at the judges and when tackled by guards accidentally swallowed his cigarette.
This allegedly caused him to burn his internal organs, causing unemployment and muteness.
None of this is true, and very little of it is even slightly plausible.