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Beerest and dearest; Lagerphones, the ultimate home brew & keeping the family name alive... quench your thirst for ale facts.


IT'S full to the brim and frothing with fascinating facts and figures about beer.

The new edition of CAMRA's Beer Knowledge, by award-winning writer Jeff Evans, is overflowing with, well, pints of trivia - from the tipple made for one of the biggest TV shows to the Penguin Brewery on the other side of the world.

Jeff says: "Once again, insights into the sillier side of beer rub shoulders with serious statistics.

"It's a labour of love, but I didn't realise that quite so many people shared my fascination with facts, figures and feats." Here, we serve up a few rounds of them...

Heineken is Ireland's biggest selling beer, followed by Budweiser and Guinness

Miller Lyte

How much do you love beer?

So much that you would name one of your children in honour of your favourite drink?

That's what the brother of actor Matthew McConaughey, Mike "Rooster", did when he decided to call his son Miller Lyte after his regular tipple.

It took the brewery nine years to discover this fact but, delighted with the publicity, it then sent the proud dad a year's supply of the brew.

Buddy Boy

Last year, the Budweiser brewery in St Louis, Missouri, could hardly have had a more appropriate visitor. A 19-year-old found on the site and arrested for trespassing was revealed by police be named Bud Weisser.


Proof that the worlds of beer and music go hand in hand comes in the form of the lagerphone, a homemade instrument beloved of folk musicians.

Also known as a monkey stick, a mendoza or even a Murrumbidgee river rattler, it's a broom handle with beer-bottle caps loosely attached.

When the stick is tapped on the ground, the bottle caps jingle.

NCIS Masham

In 2011, unbeknown to Theakston brewery in Masham, North Yorks, characters in US series NCIS: Los Angeles welcomed in the festive season with Theakston's Christmas Ale. At the time, the beer was purely fictitious.

The next year, the brewery launched a Christmas Ale, 4.7% ABV and with raisins and cinnamon, after receiving enquiries about the TV beer.

Clare Balding & Family

In autobiography My Animals and Other Family, sports broadcaster Clare Balding reveals how her family inherited a brewery fortune.

William Bass, a descendent of the man who founded the Bass brewery in Burton upon Trent in 1777, had no children.

Fearing the name would die out, he asked nephew Captain Peter Hastings - Clare's grandad - to add Bass to his.

In return, Peter received an inheritance that bought him stables at Kingsclere, Hants.

Pints of Heavy

Ever lifted one of those thick, dimpled litre jugs of German beer? Pretty heavy, aren't they?

So hats off to the amazing Oliver Struempfel, a waiter at the Gillemoos beer festival in the Bavarian town of Abensberg.

He set an impressive world record in 2014 for carrying no fewer than 27 full jugs for 40 metres - and all without the help of a tray.

Beer We Go...

Ethiopia is the country to visit if you fancy watching a beer-football derby. You can support Harar Beer Bottling FC, which has links to a brewery in city Harar (the brewery was acquired from the Ethiopian government in 2011 by Heineken) or rivals Dashen Beer.

Our other brewery is in the South Atlantic

Following the Falklands conflict in 1982, Leicestershire brewery Everards opened a brewhouse on the South Atlantic islands.

The Penguin Brewery, as it was known, was said to be the most southerly real ale brewery in the world at the time and operated for three years. It closed in 1986 when its manager moved to Britain.

The End Product

The Sankt Gallen brewery in Japan offers Un, Kono Kuro - meaning "s*** black".

That's not a description of the beer; it sums up how it's made. The brew contains coffee beans that have passed through an elephant's digestive system.

Meanwhile, Borg brewery in Reykjavik makes Fenrir Nr. 26 beer, featuring malt dried over fires of sheep excrement.

Brew It Yourself

In 2013, a 61-year-old Texas man was found to have high levels of brewer's yeast in his stomach.

It had created enough alcohol to put him five times over the driving limit. Rare auto-brewery syndrome explained why his wife constantly found him "drunk". Anti-fungal drugs and a low-carb diet treated it.

The Red Lioness

In 2011, Cathy Price decided to visit all 656 UK pubs sharing the name The Red Lion.

Mission complete, she wrote The Red Lioness about it and is the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group's Beer Drinker of the Year 2016.

CAMRA's Beer Knowledge is available from a range of bookshops and also directly from CAMRA at


FAN Matthew, mum Mary, Mike

BREW'S A LUCKY GIRL Claire Balding

BIG ROUND Waiter Oliver Struempfel sets record
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2016
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