<P>Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb into the mix to find the right temperature for adding yeast. Too cold, and the yeast wouldn't grow. Too hot, and the yeast would die. Hence the term Rule of Thumb.
<P>Beer was the reason the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. It's clear from the Mayflower's log that the crew didn't want to waste beer looking for a better site. The log goes on to state that the passengers "were hasted ashore and made to drink water that the seamen might have the more beer".
<P>In 1740 Admiral Vernon of the British fleet decided to water down the navy's rum. Needless to say, the sailors weren't too pleased and called Admiral Vernon, Old Grog, after the stiff wool grogram coats he wore. The term "grog" soon began to mean the watered down drink itself. When you were drunk on this grog, you were "groggy", a word still in use today.
<P>According to The Code of Hammurabi of ancient Babylonia (c. 1750 B.C.) a merchant could be put to death for diluting beer.
<P>Historians report that during the Middle Ages, when monks were brewing their beer in their monasteries, each monk was allowed to drink 5 quarts of beer a day.
<P>Peter Minuit established the first public brewery in America at the Market Field in lower Manhattan
<P>The music for "The Star Spangled Banner" was derived from a British drinking song called "Anacreon".
source: Adobe Systems catalog
<P>Cenosillicaphobia - Fear of an empty glass