Raise Your Glass Around the World

An anonymous Egyptian from 2200 BC said “The mouth of a perfectly happy man is filled with beer.” Apparently not only were the Egyptians incredible engineers and builders, but also great philosophers.

Every country in the world has some sort of traditional drinking toast. They are usually just one or two words, but sometimes they take the form of short speeches, or prayers. One of my favorites is often credited to the Irish.

“May those that love us, love us. And for those who don’t may God turn their hearts. And if He can’t turn their hearts may he turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limp!”

With few exceptions toasts should be brief, especially if a meal is being served. There’s nothing worse than listening to some someone drone on while your food is getting cold.

Most cultures have just one or two standard toasts, usually wishing others good health, or more drink. However, where the English toast “Bottoms up!” might refer to the bottom of the glass, the Hawaiian toast “Okole Maluna” literally means “buttocks up”.

Here is a list of multi-national toasts to impress your friends or use as a sign of respect to someone from another country. This is just a sampling of simple drinking toasts from around the world and is in no way meant to be definitive.

Armenian- “Genatzt” (Jen’ at set)

Chinese- “Gan Bei”

Czech- “Na Zdravi” (Naz dravyeh)

Danish- “Skål” (Skol)

Dutch- “Proost”

Estonian- “Tervist”

Finnish- “Kippis”

French- “Sante”

German- “Prosit”

Hebrew- “Le Chaim”

Hungarian- “Egeszsegedre” (Eggaysh egguhdre)

Irish- “Slainte”

Italian- “Salute” (formal) or

Italian- “Cin Cin” (informal)

Japanese- “Banzai” (long life) or

Japanese- “Kanpai” (dry glass!)

Korean- “Konbe”

Lithuanian- “I Sveikata” (Ee, say katta)

Pakistani- “Sanda Bashi”

Polish- “Vivat”

Portuguese- “Saúde”

Romanian- “Noroc”

Romany/Gypsy- “Bahkt Tu Kel”

Russian- “Za Vashe Zdorovye” (Vashez darovya)

Spanish- “Salud”

Ukranian- “Bud Mo”

Welsh-” Lechyd Da” (Yakee da)

Zulu- “Oogy Wawa”

No matter how you say it, the sentiment is nearly always the same. May you always have good health, and may your cup never run dry. Cheers!

Domestic vs Craft and Specialty Beer

You ever notice that beer menus in restaurants and bars are usually divided into 3 categories: Domestic, Craft, and Imports? Yes? Then have you ever thought about the fact that all the “Domestic” beers are actually owned by foreign companies, and that the only actual domestic beers (beers brewed by American companies) are labeled as Craft or Specialty?

Maybe you think that it really doesn’t make a difference. If it is brewed right here in the USA, then it’s a domestic beer. If you believe that then  I have another question for you.  Toyota builds their cars here in the USA because it’s cheaper than building them somewhere else then ship them here.  Since they are built here in the USA by American workers, would you consider Toyota an American product?  Is it a domestic vehicle?

“Domestic” brands such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Bud Ice, Bud Light Lime, Busch, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Landshark Lager, Goose Island, 10 Barrel, Blue Point, Elysian, Redbridge, Natural Light, Shock Top, Wild Blue, Johnny Appleseed Hard Cider, and others are owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev- a Belgian company.

“Domestic” beers like Coors Banquet, Coors Light, Extra Gold Lager, Icehouse, Keystone, Killian’s Irish Red, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller High Life, Miller Lite, Miller 64, Milwaukee’s Best, Steel Reserve, Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s, Redd’s Apple Ale, Crispin, Smith & Forge, and others, are brewed by MillerCoors which was a joint venture between SABMiller (Owned by South African Breweries) and Molson Coors (a Canadian company) until they were bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2016.

So I ask the question again. If Toyota is considered to be a foreign brand, despite being manufactured in America, then why are Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob, Landshark, Goose Island, Blue Moon, Coors, Miller, Milwaukee’s Best, Icehouse, and the others considered domestic?

Why are all the American owned beers considered “Specialty”?  When did something made in America by American companies stop becoming domestic?

I see men, but where are the women?

Women drink beer. This shouldn’t surprise you since there’s a pretty good chance you know a woman, or even several, who drink beer, or you are a beer-drinking woman yourself. Women also brew, package, sell and market beer. This shouldn’t be news to anyone who has been on a brewery tour, attended a beer festival, or have heard of beer industry big names like Irene Firmat- founder of Full Sail Brewing, Kim Jordan- co-founder of New Belgium Brewing, or even craft beer pioneer Carol Stoudt- founder of Stoudt Brewing.

While women brewers are becoming more and more common in the modern craft brewing movement, there are still relatively few. Historically, brewing was done by women. Yet today brewing is seen mostly as the domain of young bearded men.

Beer is genderless and there is nothing strange about a woman drinking a beer. However, there is a significant difference in the number women and men who prefer beer or brew beer. Based on combined data from Gallup polls conducted from 2010 through 2016 about 54% of men preferred beer as opposed to 23% of women.  50% of women preferred wine where only 18% of men.

So why do more than twice as many men prefer beer than women? And why do nearly 3 time more women prefer wine than men?  I believe that the answer may be a combination of marketing, and stereo typing.

There has been a lot of criticism recently directed at the way beer is marketed and labeled. TV commercials and print adds usually depict men enjoying a beer, and when women appear in beer commercials or adds they are usually scantily clad women and serving beer to men.

Additionally, beer labels and beer names are often offensive to women and degrade women by objectifying them or playing on negative stereo types. Here are some examples of beer names: Leg-Spreader brewed by Route 2 Brews, Hoppy Bitch brewed by Northwest Brewing, Bitch Slap brewed by Pig Minds Brewing Co, Panty Peeler brewed by Midnight Sun Brewing, Thong Remover brewed by Village Idiot Brewing,  Naughty Girl brewed by Right Brain Brewery, Double D brewed by Dominion Brewing, Bare Ass Blonde brewed by DuClaw Brewing, and Tramp Stamp brewed by Clown Shoes Beer. The pictures that accompany these beer names depict women as promiscuous, scantily clad, or just plain crazy.

These types of beer names and depictions might very well be part of the reason some women prefer not to drink beer. Imagine if the tables were turned. Sound silly or over sensitive? Would your average guy reach for a beer called Woody Ale with a picture of a guy with his legs wrapped around a tree on the label? I can tell you that I personally wouldn’t be too excited to put my lips on a bottle depicting a guy dry humping a tree.

Of course, on television and in movies women are nearly always drinking wine while the men around them are drinking beer, reinforcing the stereotype that women drink wine and men drink beer. Have you ever watched Cougar Town, Sex and the City, or even The Big Bang Theory?

If women are being discouraged from drinking beer through advertising, beer names, beer labels, television shows, and movies, is it any wonder that not only do fewer women drink beer and even fewer women decide to go into brewing?

Women may not be intentionally discouraged from drinking and brewing beer, but the results are the same. About 77% of women prefer to drink something other than beer, and as a result would not likely consider a career in brewing. That is a lot of potential customers and a lot of potential brewers.

Perhaps before we name our beer and print the label, we should ask ourselves if we would feel comfortable serving it to our mothers or daughters.  I know I would be a little embarrassed to serve my mother Leg-Spreader, no matter how good the beer.

Self Serve Beer Taps?

So you’re in a brewery with some friends having a good time when you realize your glass is inexplicably empty. What do you do? There is nothing more frustrating than waiting to order another beer. You get the server’s attention and order another draft, but the server has to order it from the bartender. The bar could have 4 taps or 20 taps, it doesn’t matter.  If there is only one bartender, your beer will have to wait to be poured, then wait again for the server to pick up your beer to bring it to you. What if you could just walk over to the taps and pour yourself another beer? In your dreams, right? Well, not any more.

Not only is this real, but Ono Brewing in Chantilly, VA has self serve beer taps ready and waiting for you!

You’re probably wondering how that would work, so let me explain.  You walk into Ono Brewing and see a host or hostess and either start a tab with your credit card or load a card with any cash amount. You are now set. Walk over to the wall of beer, pick the beer of your choice, tap your card on the tap and fill your glass.

Don’t want a full glass? No problem. Get just a taste or a half glass. You only pay for what you pour. It’s that simple.

Ono Brewing is using a system designed by PourMyBeer, which is currently being used in over 200 establishments (including a beer wall in Chicago’s O’Hare airport) in 28 states and parts of Canada.

So raise a pint and make a toast.  To craft beer, and not having to wait to be served!

What a glorious age we live in.