Preparing for this Weekend

The Guinness Book of World Records was originally established to settle drunken arguments in the pubs of Britain and Ireland. This book was the answer to alcohol-induced debates that were once only solved through good old-fashioned brawls. That is, until 1991, when they banned all alcohol related entries due to fear of litigation. However, the 1979 edition did print these records, which are reproduced below. For edits and additions, please leave a comment below and the list will be updated.

Strongest Beer

The strongest known beer in 1979 was EKU Kulminator Urtyp Hell from Kilmbach, West Germany, at 13.2 percent alcohol (1979).

Update: Bavarian brewer Harald Schneider, from southern Germany, brewed a beer that was 25.4% alcohol. Source.

Weakest Beer

The weakest liquid ever marketed as a beer was a sweet ersatz beer from Germany be Sunner, Colne-Kalk in 1918. It had less than 0.2 percent alcohol (1979).

Speed Beer Drinking

Steven Petrosino of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania on June 22nd, 1977, drank 1 liter of beer in 1.3 seconds. Peter G. Dowdeswell of Earls Barton drank two liters in 6.0 seconds on February 7th, 1975 (1979).

Fastest Beer Drinking Relay

Czech patriots drank 2,662 half-litres of beer in less than 17 hours. Drinking at a rate of over 156 beers per hour, or 2.6 mugs per minute, the Czechs can now claim to be the fastest “relay” drinkers in the world (2004). Source.

Highest Documented Blood Alcohol Level

An unidentified middle-aged Latvian man was unconscious but stable after a blood test showed 7.22 parts per million (0.7%) of alcohol, police spokeswoman Ieva Zvidre said. “An average person would vomit at around 1.2, lose consciousness at 3.0 and stop breathing at a level of about 4.0 parts per million” Zvidre said (2003). Source.

Most Alcoholic Person (actual name of record)

It is recorded that a hard drinker named Vanhorn (1850 – 1911) averaged more than four bottles of Ruby Port per day for 23 years prior to his death at 61. He is believed to have emptied 35,688 bottles (1979).

Beer Consumption

The nation with the highest beer consumption per person is West Germany, with 39.8 U.S. gallons per person in 1976. In the northern territory of Australia, the annual intake has been estimated to be as high as 62.4 U.S. gallons per person (1979).

Youngest Recorded Death from Alcohol Poisoning

A 4 year old boy, Joesph Sweet, in Wolverhampton, England, in died 1827 from alcohol poisoning, reported in the Stafford Assizes case R. v. Martin (1979).

Most Alcoholic Drink

During Independence (1918 – 1940) the Estonian Liquor Monopoly marketed 196 proof potato alcohol. In the U.S., Everclear (190 proof) is marketed by the American Distilling Co. (1979).

Most Expensive Liqueur

A half bottle of Peres Chartreux, Tanrragone, June of 1945 has been sold for 130 francs, equivalent to $59 per bottle (1979).

Most Expensive Spirit

Grande Fine Champagne Napolean, 1811 was auctioned at Christie’s of London in December 1976 for $374 for a single bottle (1979).

Oldest Wine

The oldest datable wine has been an amphora salvaged and drank by Captain Jacques Cousteau from the wreck of a Greek trader sunk in the Mediterranean circa 230 B.C. Wine jars recovered from the Pompeii eruption of A.D. 79 were found labeled VESUVINUM – The oldest known trade mark (1979).

Most Expensive Wine

The highest price ever paid for a bottle of wine of any size is $18,000 for a jeroboam of 1864 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild dry red Bordeaux, purchased at an auction in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 25th, 1978 (1979).

Update: The most expensive wine ever sold is a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafite which sold at Christie’s London in December, 1985 for £105,00 (about US $160,000). Source.

Greatest Wine Auction

The single largest sale of wine took place at Christie’s of King Street, St. James, London, on March 25-26, 1976, when 31,000 bottles of Bordeaux wines were auctioned for $1,500,000 (1979).

Champagne Cork Flight

The longest distance for a champagne cork to fly from an untreated bottle 4 feet from level ground is 102 feet 11 inches by Gary P. Mahan at La Habra Heights, California on August 2nd, 1975 (1979).

Longest Prohibition

The longest lasting imposition of Prohibition against consumption of alcoholic beverages has been 26 years in Iceland (1908 – 1934). Other prohibitions have been in Russia (1914 – 1924) and the United States (1920 – 1933)(1979).

Largest Beer Selling Establishment

The Mathaser Bayerstrasse 5, Munich, West Germany averaged 100,800 pints sold per day. It was rebuilt in 1995 to seat 5,500 people (1979).

Longest Bar

The longest bar with Beer pumps was built in 1938 at the Working Men’s Club, Mildura, Victoria, Australia. Its counter is 298 feet in length, with 27 pumps (1979).

Oldest Brewery

The oldest brewery is the Weihenstephan, Brewery in Freising, near Munich, West Germany, founded in 1040 (1979).

Largest Single Brewer

Anheuser-Busch, Inc. In 1975, the company sold 35,196,180 barrels, the largest annual volume ever produced by a Brewery (1979).

Largest Brewery

The largest brewery on a single site is Adolph Coors Co. of Golden Colorado, which produced 12,800,000 barrels in 1978 (1979).


Written by: Ryan Fujiu on Monday, March 12 2007