Ahead of England and Egypt’s international friendly as a preparation for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. What is the most common thing that you see in a football crowd other than the flags and the weird hairstyles and wigs? Beer jugs!!
England fans might consider themselves the world leaders in beer and pubs but Egypt are not that easy a competition as far as beer is concerned at least. Egyptians aren’t just one of the earliest brewers but Cleopatra was the first ruler to introduce beer tax.
Here are a few important facts about beer, England and Egypt:
- The pyramids were built on beer – the slaves who built them, were entitled by law to a daily ration of beer.
- Egyptians used a beer as a currency to pay slaves, tradesmen, priests and public officials alike, which means that every Egyptian was entitled to a certain amount of daily beer.
- Beer became so popular in ancient Egypt that no ruler dared to put a tax. However, in the middle of the last Century BC, Cleopatra invented the world’s first beer tax. It’s been with us ever since.
- The Egyptians did not invent beer – that was the Sumerians – but they were the world’s earliest brewers.
- In Egypt, beer was regarded as food.
- The god of dead, Osiris, was hailed as the guardian of beer.
- Beer was considered as the nectar of the gods.
- The pharaohs turned brewing into a state monopoly and strictly licensed brewing rights to entrepreneurs and priests.
- Many temples opened their own breweries and pubs, all in the service of the gods.
- Rich Egyptian’s frequently went out accompanied by two slaves and a hammock, so they could be carried home after a heavy night in the pub.