10 fascinating facts about beer in Canada

Flickr Creative Commons/Kiki5253

Any Canadian of legal drinking age has undoubtedly downed a beer (or six), but how much do we really know about Canada’s most iconic beverage?

Probably not as much as we think we know, and these awesome beer facts are sure to increase your knowledge of Canada’s favourite frosty drink.

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Canada’s first

French herbalist Louis Hébert and his wife are Canada’s first documented brewers, with the immigrants brewing beer for their own personal private consumption as early as 1617. The first commercial brewery came years later, built by Jean Talon in Québec City in 1668.

Beer bucks

As a whole, Canadians spent $9.14 billion on beer in 2013 ($324 per adult), which equates to 2.27 billion litres of beer. That’s a whole lotta brew!

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READ MORE: 10 new and unique Canadian beers to try

Beer is #1

The most popular alcoholic beverage in Canada is — you guessed it — beer! In fact, beer makes up more than 45 per cent of all alcoholic beverage sales in Canada.

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Beer economy

According to the Conference Board of Canada, one out of every 100 jobs in Canada is supported by the sale of beer, with every dollar we spend on beer generating $1.12 for the nation’s economy. This “beer economy,” in fact, supports 163,200 jobs throughout Canada

Prairie gold

Anyone who’s ever spent time in the prairie provinces knows that German beer is wildly popular in Western Canada, and for good reason. During the boom-town days, German-American beer brewers headed north in hopes of setting up shop and serving their beer to thirsty customers.

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READ MORE: 11 ingenious ways to cook with beer

Stronger than American beer?

The notion that Canadian beer is stronger than American beer is actually an urban myth. In fact, Canadian beer is a relative weakling when compared to some of America’s highest-alcohol-by-volume brews. This fallacy began because alcohol was measured differently in each country, with the U.S. using the alcohol-by-weight method, while Canadians used the alcohol-by-volume method of measurement.

Beer pre-dates Confederation

Canadian beer is actually older than Canada. In fact, beer production in the Great White North pre-dates Confederation by a good 200 years.

Glass all empty

Although you won’t find it in regular dictionaries, apparently there’s an actual phobia in which sufferers experience fear of seeing an empty beer class. This disorder is called Cenosillicaphobia; fortunately, the cure is a good bartender who knows how to keep ’em coming.

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READ MORE: 25 incredible must-try recipes with beer

Malt magic

Canadian companies were responsible for pioneering the processes of continuous malting and continuous brewing. This has revolutionized the brewing process. Yay, Canada!

Newfoundland rules

The region in Canada with the highest beer consumption per capita? That would be Newfoundland and Labrador, according to Statistics Canada. They found that adults drank the equivalent of 101.2 litres in 2013.

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