Einstein's bizarre connections to the beer industry
The genius has been associated with the brew business since 1901.
By all accounts Albert Einstein wasn't much of a drinker, indulging in a beer or two at select social events. From time to time, according to correspondence letters now available at the Digital Einstein Papers project undertaken by Princeton and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he even admitted to having a bit too much. So while not a teetotaler, his quotidian vices still seem to have been limited to the pipe tobacco he so loved. However, that hasn't stopped historians, the beer industry or the Internet rumor mill from associating him with the stuff.
The Oktoberfest connection
The Schottenhamel tent was the first to have electricity at Oktoberfest, and Albert Einstein helped install it. (Photo: Abhijeet Rane/Flickr)
The Schottenhamel Banqueting Tent is the oldest and most traditional Oktoberfest tent still standing – the Schottenhamel family has been coming to the beer festival since 1867. Munich’s oldest beer tent was also the first to have light provided by electricity in 1901 and, believe it or not, it was none other than Albert Einstein who helped install it. At the time the 22-year-old Albert was working for his father and uncle, who owned the electrical company J. Einstein & Cie. It's also said that as a young man he frequented Oktoberfest during vacations – not with the intention of routing electrical wires, we're guessing.
The direct connection
There are several beers currently on the market named after Einstein. Among them is German brewery Privatbrauerei Kesselring Gmbh & Co's Steinie² which comes in three different variations: Original (lager), a mixture of original with lemonade, and a darker bock style.
Shorts Brewing Company in Michigan has created Alien Einstein, a light-bodied India Pale Lager, and then there's Beer Creative, a collective of grassroots brewers from Australia that has developed Einstein, a dark lager that is the first beer in its "Creative Genius" series.
The commercial connection
Einstein has been used in all sorts of beer advertisements over the years by brands such as Carlsberg, Isenbeck and Victoria. This Guinness ad from 2007 is our favorite, though.
The false connection
For some time now the rumor that Einstein put bubbles in beer has been circulating on the Internet. Any truth to it? Nope. This rumor started thanks to the 1980s Australian film "Young Einstein," which featured a young Albert introducing bubbles to the as-yet-uncarbonated miracle drink known as beer.
The odd connection
We'd call it adding insult to injury if it wasn't such a "cool" hiding place. Remember that tale of Einstein's brain being stolen? Well, the gent who did it was Princeton Hospital pathologist Dr. Thomas Stoltz Harvey. He was originally tasked with carrying out an autopsy and instead snatched the brain for himself – storing it for some time in a beer cooler.
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