Saturday, April 26, 2014

Jim Koch’s Secret to Drinking All Night

An Esquire writer recently met brewer Jim Koch of Samuel Adams brewery in Boston.  Koch introduced the writer to several different beers, at which point the writer said that he’d be very drunk if they drank everything Koch had brought to the table.  At that point in the interview, Koch shared his secret to drinking lots of beer all night without getting as drunk – consuming a teaspoon of Fleischmann’s dry yeast (per drink) before he started drinking.

As the article explains, yeast has an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH).  This enzyme breaks alcohol molecules down into carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen – just like your liver does when it metabolizes alcohol.  If you have this enzyme in your stomach before you start drinking (which you would if you consumed the yeast beforehand), the ADH will help break down the alcohol in the beer you drink while it’s in your stomach – and before it hits your blood.

Koch says that he mixes the yeast into yogurt to mask the taste, and eats it before he begins drinking. 
The Esquire writer, who claimed to be a lightweight, said that he performed a test.  He/she took a six-pack of the yeast and a six-pack of beer home.  After consuming the six-pack of yeast and then drinking the six-pack of beer, “I felt nothing more than a little buzzed.”

Major disclaimer time here… This blog post should not be taken as any kind of medical, legal, or other professional advice or guidance.  I do think this would be worth trying at the next beer festival I attend, and will consider it.  However, whether I consumed yeast or not, I would never operate a motor vehicle after consuming any significant quantity of alcohol.  I hope that you will not, either.  The potential risk of loss of life (yours or others), damage to property (yours or others), etc., is simply not worth it. 

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