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Gambrinus the Beer King

      "My name is Gambrinus
King of Flanders and Brabant
I made malt out of barley
And was the first to conceive beer
So the brewers
Can proudly proclaim
That it was a King
Who invented Beer!"
           king-gambrinus.jpg              "Gambrinus werde ich genannt
König von Flandern und Brabant
Ich habe aus Gerste Malz gemacht
und zuerst das Bier erdacht.
Drumm tönnen die Brauer
mit Stolz befunden
dass ein König es war,
der das Bier erfunden."

 

The Legend of King Gambrinus, the Beer King Who can drink this beer stein full of beer in one draft is sure to earn Gambrinus's approval and sheer delight. Because it was his imperviousness to drink which prompted brewers to appoint him as their patron many centuries ago.

How it happened is related in the following legend:

Around the year 1100, the brewers of Brussels deliberated which strong and courageous man should be their leader. They organized a contest, at which a large beer barrel was placed on the ground. The one who could carry it to a spot two stone's throws away would become their head brewer.

Among many who registered for the contest was a Duke from Brabent, whose name was Jan Primus, a man of great strength and considerable intellect.  With obvious joy, he followed the futile efforts of the numerous competitors to move the beer barrel.  When his turn came, he ordered the servant to beat a spigot into the bunghole.  He then lied down under the barrel, opened the tap and drank until the barrel was empty.  Having done this, he carried the barrel effortlessly to the winning post.

On the strength of this clever idea, the brewers of Brussels appointed him as their honorary leader.  From then on he was the patron of brewers and innkeepers and Jan Primus became Gambrinus, the King of Beer.

Historical Information on Gambrinus:
There was indeed a Duke of Brabant (the first Duke) named Jan Primus (1251-1295).  Jan was born in the region of Burgundy and ruled what is now mostly Belgium. Also, there is a brewery named after the "king of beer" in Pilsen, Bohemia in the Czech Republic. The Gambrinus brewery was founded in 1869 and still brews beer today.