A thirsty public lined up outside breweries in 20 states and Washington, DC on April 6, or “New Beer’s Eve,” counting down until midnight. They purchased 1.5 million barrels and April 7 has unofficially been National Beer Day ever since.
Beer has a long history in folklore and mythology as well as US legal history. Aegir was primarily the Norse God of the Sea, but was also the brewer to the Gods of Asgard. He and his nine daughters (the billow maidens) brewed ale in a large pot given to Aegir by Thor. His association to brewing is most likely due to the foam on the ocean looking similar to the foamy head of an ale. Aegir was also a terrific host. The mugs in his house refilled themselves with more ale when you drained your cup so your never went thirsty. Albina was the goddess of white barley, which was used to make beer; one of the earliest names for the British Isles, Albion, is thought to come from her name. (Find out more gods and goddesses of beer here.)
St. Amand is the patron of bar staff, bartenders & beer merchants while St. Urban of Langres is the patron of coopers (barrel makers). St. Hildegard of Bingen protects hop-growers.
Beer is said to froth and bubble if an absent loved one is in danger. See? Never let a relative go drinking without you!
It is also said that if spilled beer runs toward you that good luck is coming your way which may be the source of the custom in some parts of Russia to pour beer over a groom’s horse at the wedding! But if you dream of beer, then trouble is on its way.
Don’t forget to celebrate beer on September 9 as well–since 2013, it’s been designated “International Buy a Priest a Beer Day!”