A salute to an Aussie icon

Top Drop: From ales and draughts to lagers and pilseners, there are a wide range of beers that can be used to celebrate International Beer Day. Photo: Shutterstock.
Top Drop: From ales and draughts to lagers and pilseners, there are a wide range of beers that can be used to celebrate International Beer Day. Photo: Shutterstock.

If there is one thing worth celebrating in life, it's beer and luckily for beer enthusiasts, August 2 is International Beer Day. Since 2007 International Beer Day has been celebrated on the first Friday in August, and with no work the day after, it sounds like the perfect way to start the weekend. The main focus for International Beer Day is to:

  • Gather with friends and enjoy the deliciousness that is beer.
  • Celebrate the dedicated men and women who brew and serve beer.
  • Bring the world together by celebrating the beers of all nations and cultures.

Beer has been around for thousands of years with Ancient Egyptians reportedly consuming four litres a day while building the pyramids (it does sound like thirsty work). Beer has been so important throughout history that if a brewer made a bad batch in Ancient Babylonia, they drowned him in it as punishment (not a bad way to go really).

Australian culture has been infused with alcohol since colonisation. Beer and rum were the drinks of choice and as our culture has evolved through different traditions and immigration, beer has remained the most regularly consumed alcohol. It is not just Australia who has a love of beer with the Czech Republic ranked as the world's biggest beer drinker, while we are only ranked a lowly 23rd.

A brewer's treat: There's simply nothing better than a freshly poured cold one. Photo: Shutterstock.

A brewer's treat: There's simply nothing better than a freshly poured cold one. Photo: Shutterstock.

Roy Morgan CEO, said while wine was the most popular choice of alcoholic drink among Australians, it was interesting to note the largest volume of alcohol is beer. "Beer represents 44 per cent of all alcohol drunk in a 12 month period," she said. "There has been a decline in alcohol consumption among men, who in the last five years have gone from 76.5 per cent consuming alcohol to 73.9 per cent in an average four week period. This is contrasted by the rise of women consuming alcohol, which has increased from 64.1 to 64.8 per cent".

Statistics show that beer is a vital part of our economy from growing grain through to pouring a 'cold one'. Figures from the Brewers Association of Australia (BAA) shows that 84 per cent of all beer sold in Australia is made by Australians, that domestic production supports almost 103,000 full-time Australian jobs and generates $16.5 billion-a-year in economic activity. BAA CEO, Brett Heffernan said that raising a glass is a part of who we are. "Beer is a major ingredient in what brings families, friends, colleagues and entire communities together," he said. "It is also an important lubricant for our economy at national, state and local levels".

So on August 2, grab some friends and some beers, or head down to your local pub and celebrate all that is good and frothy on International Beer Day.