National Beer Day

National Beer Day is a holiday that’s observed annually on April 7th every year. It recognizes the history, cultural significance, and popularity of one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. In 2020, over 177.5 million kiloliters of beer were sold worldwide, or about 46 billion gallons of the stuff.

Now, that’s a lot of beer! It’s no wonder someone decided to create this holiday—a holiday that’s preceded by another beer holiday the day before: New Beer’s Eve. It sounds like a lot of this product is going to be consumed on these two days, so anyone looking to participate in this holiday is probably going to want to make sure they have no other obligations on this day.

The History Of National Beer Day

According to food historians, beer is one of the oldest drinks ever produced by human beings. The first confirmed barley beer was found in a vessel and dated back to 5,000 B.C. in what is now modern-day Iran. Beer has been recorded in the written history of both Mesopotamia and Egypt.

So, as you can see, it’s a beverage that’s been around for quite a long time. It’s believed that the first beers were made accidentally. Ancient peoples were soaking grains in water to make a gruel that was easier for them to digest than the uncooked grains. Sometimes the grains would soak too long and begin to ferment.

This would affect not only the texture of the grains but also the taste. It would also produce ethanol and carbon dioxide as well. And that’s how beer was born, or so it’s believed. This holiday is all because of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution—a law that began Prohibition in the United States.

This amendment went into effect on January 17, 1920, and banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes in the U.S. Fortunately, the law wouldn’t prevent Americans from enjoying beer and other liquors for too long.

That’s because, on April 7, 1933, U.S. President Roosevelt signed a law that ended Prohibition and allowed people to brew and sell beer, as long as that beer was below 4% alcohol by volume. This was the first time in 13 years that beer lovers could purchase their favorite product, and needless to say, they rejoiced.

This wasn’t the official end of Prohibition (that wouldn’t happen until December 5th, 1933, after the ratification of the 21st Amendment). Now that we know why National Beer Day was created and why it’s observed on April 7th, let’s take a few moments to talk about who created it.

This holiday was created in 2009 by Justin Smith of Richmond, Virginia. It was first observed on Facebook and then gained increased publicity when the drinking app Untappd created a special “Beer Day badge” for people who checked in on this day.

Some Quick Facts About Beer

We don’t want to end this article without listing at least some of the things that we learned about beer. Over the course of several holiday articles that we’ve done on beer and other alcoholic beverages, we learned quite a lot about beer and would like to share it with everyone. Just in time for National Beer Day.

  • In the years before 2020, about 50 billion gallons of beer were sold each year.
  • After 2020, beer sales began to slump slightly, but it now appears that they may be on a rebound.
  • The first country to ever have a museum dedicated to beer was the Czech Republic.
  • In ancient Egypt, women were the ones who brewed beer.
  • During the Middle Ages, it was also common for women to brew beer.
  • It was also common during the Middle Ages for people who made bad ale (un-hopped beer) to be sat in a chair and criticized by the community publicly.
  • The strongest beer in the world is Snake Venom. It’s brewed by Brewmeister, a Scottish brewery, and contains 67.5% alcohol by volume.
  • In France, Germany, Portugal, and South Korea, McDonald’s sells beer on its menus.
  • The most famous beer in the world is Budweiser.

National Beer Day Customs & Traditions

All that is really needed to celebrate National Beer Day in the United States is to enjoy one at your local watering holes. Bars, taverns, and pubs all over the U.S. participate in this day, and they usually have some sort of party or contest around the event.

In Iceland, it is common for those participating in this holiday to go on a pub crawl—visiting the many pubs which remain open until 4 in the morning of the next day. In the U.K., it is also customary to visit pubs on this day as well. It is also customary among some people in the United Kingdom to sing “Cheers to beer,” an anthem written by Jane Peyton and dedicated to beer.

Social media has also gotten into the act. On National Beer Day in the U.S., it is common for the hashtag #NationalBeerDay to trend on Twitter. In the U.K., it is common for the hashtag #CheerBeer to trend on June 15th.

For those people who consider themselves citizens of the world, and have a high tolerance for what has been called liquid bread, celebrating all three holidays may be in order. The Icelandic one can be celebrated on March 1st, the American one on April 7th, and the U.K. one on June 15th. Sort of an international National Beer Day crawl.

Where is it celebrated?
United States
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 7 Sunday
Next year (2025)
April 7 Monday
Last year (2023)
April 7 Friday
Food & Drinks