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August 3 was International Beer Day. The beverage in shades ranging from light amber to dark brown has been celebrated on the first Friday of every August since 2007, when three guys from Santa Cruz, California, convinced their local bar to recognize the beloved libation and set up a website that made their homage to beer go viral all over the world. Why celebrate beer?

Well, for one, many people enjoy kicking back with a cold one among friends, especially during the “dog days of summer.” Some residents of Monarch Landing did so during happy hour in the Millstone Lounge on August 3, and most likely so did millions of others across the globe. Heck, there are at least a million beer brands in the world!

While the official celebration of beer is only 11 years old, the beverage itself is one of the oldest drinks produced by humans, going back as far as the 5th millennium BC in Iran, or more than 7,000 years. And, believe it or not, beer consumption in moderation has some surprising health benefits as well.

The hops, malt, yeast, water and cereals in beer provide essential antioxidants and minerals. Beer also benefits bone health, as the dietary silicon found in beer is essential to the development of bone and connective tissues. A 2016 study looked at 80,000 healthy adults and found that moderate beer drinking was linked to a slower decrease in good cholesterol over time (a word to the wise: heavy drinking eliminates this benefit).

Moderate beer drinking has also been associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, healthier bowel function due to beer’s soluble fiber content, reduced risk of cancer because of its ability to reduce the formation of carcinogenic HCAs when used as a marinade, and even improved cognition – again, the key here is moderation. Consuming large amounts of any alcohol is detrimental to our health, especially as we age.

Some fun facts about beer just can’t go without saying either. Here are just a few:

  • Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass
  • “Snake Venom,” the strongest beer in the world, has 67.5% alcohol content
  • Slugs like beer
  • In the land of Pharaohs of Egypt, beer was the national currency
  • In 1963, Albert Heineken created a beer bottle that could also be used as a brick to build sustainable housing in impoverished countries
  • In the 13th century, some people in Norway would baptize their children with beer, and table beer was served in Belgian schools until the 1980s
  • You can swim in pools of beer in Austria
  • A brewery in Germany has been in continuous operation since the year 1040

Now that you know all of this, why wait until August 2, 2019, when International Beer Day will roll around again…or April 7, when National Beer Day will be celebrated? The city of Naperville and nearby suburbs boast their own breweries and beer emporiums, including Rock Bottom, Solemn Oath, Granite City Food & Brewery, Hopvine, The Foundry, World of Beer, and more.

And let’s not forget the Naperville Firkin Beer Fest on Saturday, September 22, at the CityGate Center just two minutes from Monarch Landing. If you miss that, there’s also Oktoberfest at the Naperville Settlement October 5-6.

Drink up (moderately)!