The History of Saint Patrick’s Day (And Why We Drink)

Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of St. Patrick’s Day is aware of the fact that the celebration is inexorably tied to the excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. While some may believe that this is just another example of lively individuals taking advantage of a celebration, there is actually a solid reason why alcohol has long been a part of the holiday that is now celebrated worldwide.

While there is a justifiable reason for drinking somewhat excessively in celebration of St. Patrick, there are plenty of misconceptions that surround the history of the holiday and the man in whose honor the celebration occurs.

Who Was Saint Patrick?

Saint Patrick is considered the most recognizable of all of the patron saints of Ireland, though he was not of Irish descent himself. St. Patrick was born in Great Britain, and was first brought to Ireland as a slave after having been captured and taken from his home.
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The History of Homebrewing: How Beer-Making Has Evolved Over the Years

As famous philosopher Plato once said:  “He was a wise man who invented beer.”

Homebrewing History

The history of beer and other fermented alcoholic beverages traces back to the earliest civilizations, with some experts claiming that beer was, perhaps, the first alcoholic drink ever created. The practice of using barley, hops, and other ingredients to brew beer has been important to many cultures, and remains so to this day. As a matter of fact, beer is thought to be the third most commonly consumed beverage in the world, ranking behind water and tea.

While mega-sized breweries continue to churn out the majority of the world’s beer, there has been a dramatic rise in homebrewing over the last few years. This time-honored tradition of crafting your own brews is steadily becoming more popular as the months roll by. But it wasn’t always like this. Until Jimmy Carter became president, it was still illegal for you to brew your own beer.

From the beginning of the Dry Movement to becoming one of America’s favorite hobbies, let’s take a look at how homebrewing has evolved over the years.
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The Evolution of Oktoberfest: A Historical Timeline

Today is officially the last day of Oktoberfest 2013. Because of this, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the history of Oktoberfest and how the world’s most famous festival has changed over the last two centuries.

When you think of Oktoberfest, it likely brings to mind images of beer kegs, mounds of pretzels, delicious bratwurst, accordion players in lederhosen, and, of course, gorgeous beer maidens carrying a dozen giant mugs at a time. However, many people don’t know that the original event had very little to do with beer, but was more of a wedding reception that quickly evolved into an annual event.

How It All Started

The first Oktoberfest took place on Oct. 17, 1810, in Munich, to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The newlyweds enjoyed the festivities so much, they suggested making it an annual event.

Nine years later, Munich’s city fathers decided to take over management of the event, after it grew large enough to include a variety of contests and carnival booths. Soon thereafter, Oktoberfest expanded from a one-day event to a 16-day festival starting in late September and continuing through the first weekend of October.
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