If you’re into sports, you probably know about the biathlon, a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. But have you heard about the Beer Mile? It’s an upcoming sport that involves both running and chugging beers. In other words: a discipline for true sportsmen. Last week the world record was broken twice in 24 hours, when the Australian Josh Harris set a time of 4.56.02, a few hours before Canadian Lewis Kent clocked 4.55.78. Let’s take a closer look at this exciting young sport and hope the gentlemen of the International Olympic Committee do too. Cause since the biathlon is an Olympic event, the Beer Mile can’t stay behind.
As this is our 500th post on Lords of the Drinks, we wanted to do a special story. And what better than the great legend of Gambrinus, the King of Beer. You might have seen him before, as he is the fine gentleman you see in the LOTD-logo. This mythical figure was known from folklore tales all over Western Europe but, much like King Arthur, his character was probably based on a real man. Over time he became the worldwide patron saint of beer, hops, brewing and drunken fun, having many beers and bars named after him. The most famous mythical story about Gambrinus is when he gives his soul to the devil in exchange for beer and then beats him at his own sneaky game.
If the Historical Drunkards section has taught us anything it must be that many influential people in the past were quite fond of alcoholic beverages. Things weren’t different in 8th century China during the Tang Dynasty. In fact the eight most brilliant minds of this immense country were quite the wine enthousiasts. The alcohol consumption of these scholars inspired the the poet Du Fu (712-770) to write a poem called Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup. In this humoristic piece he pictures his contemporaries as huge drunks. This poem has been used as inspiration for a lot of other (Chinese) art through the ages, mostly music, painting and calligraphy.
We already gave you some tips and tricks to get rid of your hangover. But every country has its own traditional dishes to make the process go faster. We like to give you a taste of the international anti-hangover cuisine. This time we visit a country known for the passion for food: Italy. This dish called spaghetti aglio e olio is not so much used as a hangover cure (although it does work miracles the morning after too) as it is a preventive cure. Italians eat this simple pasta between a drinking session and going to bed. The good thing is that spaghetti aglio e olio is such an easy dish to make, you can even do it when you get home drunk.
An interesting archaeological find in Bulgaria this week gave new life to the discussion when the art of distilling became a thing in Europe. This part of an 11th century distillation vessel is the third piece of hard evidence from Bulgaria that it’s national drink rakia was around a few hundred years before the Western Europeans started distilling, which is believed to be in the 16th century. Most interesting statement in the discussion came from Bozhidar Dimitrov, historian and head of the National History Museum in Sofia, who stated in a press release that ‘Bulgarians are invincible as long as they drink rakia’.
The various popfestivals in the Summer are known for the alcohol related fun and drunken madness. Pinkpop, a festival in the South of Holland is quite a notorious one. Just ask the Irish singer Shane MacGowan, if he remembers that is. This weekend the Dutch singer David Achter de Molen of the band John Coffey pulled quite the stunt at the same festival. As he crowdwalking during his concert, somebody threw a beer at him. With an amazing speed he caught the glass in mid-air and drank it in one sip. Respect!
Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) was the first European explorer to ever reach Asia by sailing only westwards. The Portuguese captain also initiated (he didn’t survive the full journey himself) the first full circle around the globe, with that proving without a doubt that the world was completely round. On this amazing expedition the crew on his five ships suffered a lot from starvation and a lack of clean water. However, Magellan made sure that alcohol was never a problem since he spent more money on wine and sherry than his flagship and all the weapons on board.