There was nothing more to it than a few friends - no doubt gathered around a few brewskies - rhapsodizing about their shared love of beer.

On a whim, the group, led by Jesse Avshalomov of San Francisco, decided to express their gratitude and invent an excuse to celebrate their favorite beverage.

So goes the tale of how International Beer Day, which will be celebrated Friday, August 5, was born - an homage to suds that has gone viral.

Though it was only founded in 2007, International Beer Day has now spread to 138 cities in 23 countries and will be celebrated at 278 separate events around the world.

After setting up a "little website" for the grassroots event, their idea started to gain momentum online among fellow beer lovers worldwide.

"We started receiving emails from people who had found the IBD website and held their own celebrations in England and South Africa. We knew then that we needed to take our celebration to the world."

According to Avshalomov's Twitter account, the founder of IBD is an SEO strategist, entrepreneur and "opera singer."

An interactive map on their website plots out official International Beer Day celebrations that will take place in pubs, restaurants, and bars around the world.

But to partake in what the founders hope will become a regularly entrenched tradition there are certain rituals that must be observed.

Like wishing others a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, for example, when buying a beer for friends, it's encouraged to utter the following words: "I bring you the gift of beer."

Being an international beer day, it's also encouraged to be adventurous and try a new beer from abroad.

And finally, like all holidays that harken good will to all, it's important, organizers say, to show your appreciation to the folks who brew and deliver the liquid amber.

"So write a note, leave a tip, make a call, or just say thanks, but make sure your brewers and bartenders know that you love them."

Theirs isn't the only beer appreciation day around. In the US, New Beer's Eve celebrated its 78th anniversary this year to mark the end of a 14-year dry spell when the Prohibition era drew to a close April 7, 1933.

To follow IBD and find like-minded beer lovers, visit the event's Facebook page at

It is also on Twitter at!/IntlBeerDay .

Watch the group's Epic Beersplosions! video: