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  • HOW TO DRINK ALL NIGHT WITHOUT GETTING DRUNK

    HOW TO DRINK ALL NIGHT WITHOUT GETTING DRUNK
    Jim Koch knows beer. He also knows a beer trick that may change your life.

    By Aaron Goldfarb on April 24, 2014

    “That guy from the TV commercials!” That’s what they call him, either because they don’t know his name, or are by now too drunk to remember it. As the co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, he has appeared in countless Sam Adams commercials over thirty years. And, while this always-smiling man is a regular guy like you and me while walking the street, the second he enters a bar Jim Koch becomes a celebrity.

    We met at a midtown Manhattan monstrosity called The Keg Room, where at least four people stopped Koch to say hello as we made our way to a table. One apologized for currently drinking something yellow and fizzy as opposed to a Boston Lager as we sat down.

    “So many beer lists are poorly arranged, but this is pretty nice,” Koch noted. “A good mix of styles, not just a bunch of IPAs like most bars have nowadays.”

    Seconds later, he learned that one of the two Sam Adams offerings on tap was their new IPA, Rebel. We ordered two, though there was another surprise: they arrived in shaker pint glasses, which "aren't right," he said. "You won’t get all the aromatics.”

    He reached in his bag and withdrew a Perfect Pint glass, the shapely, angle-rimmed piece of glassware his brewery helped design back in 2007 and sent the waiter back to the tap. “I always carry one with me,” he said. “You’ll see…”

    He was right – I did see. And then I saw a whole slew of beers almost magically appear on our table. Nitro stouts, sours, two big bottles from their Belgian-inspired Barrel Room Collection. That’s when Koch snapped into full salesman mode, enthusiastically talking about Brewing the American Dream, his brewery's micro-lending program which has helped over 300 food and beverage startups over the past half-decade. But as much as Koch likes to pitch his company, what the man really loves to do is drink beer.

    He popped the top on Tetravis, the brewery’s version of a Belgian quadruple. I had never had it before and was blown away by its freshness and bursting dark fruit flavors, atypical of most quads, which are usually muted due to aging and oxidation. Noticing my pleased reaction, Koch quickly moved to uncork the second bottle, a Belgian stout named The Thirteenth Hour.

    “I’m gonna be wasted before this interview is up!” I laughed.

    That's when things got dead serious for the first time all afternoon. Koch leaned in toward me, stared straight into my eyes, and whispered.

    "You wanna know my secret? How I can drink beer all night long and never get drunk?"

    In fact, I had always wondered that. Though this was the first time I’d ever formally met Koch, I’d “met” him in the past at a few beer festivals. Those sorts of events are always kind of Bacchanalian shit shows, with people imbibing dozens of beer samples in a short period and soon stumbling around large convention halls drunk of their asses. Brewers included. But not Koch, who I’d long noticed was always lucid, always able to hold court, and hold his own with those much younger than him. This billionaire brewing raconteur was doing likewise with me at 4 PM on a Thursday afternoon despite the fact we were both now several beers deep. So what was the secret?

    “Yeast!”

    “Yeast?”

    “Active yeast. Like you get at the grocery store.”

    Koch told me that for years he has swallowed your standard Fleischmann’s dry yeast before he drinks, stirring the white powdery substance in with some yogurt to make it more palatable.

    “One teaspoon per beer, right before you start drinking.”


    He’d learned the trick from his good friend “Dr. Joe,” a craft beer legend in his own right. Educated at Harvard with a troika of degrees (a BA, a JD, and an MBA), Koch is no slouch, but the late-Joseph Owades was a flat-out genius. With a PhD in biochemistry from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and an early job in the fermentation sciences department at Fleischmann’s, Owades probably knew more about fermentation and alcohol metabolism than perhaps any man who has ever lived. Koch calls him, in fact, “The best brewer who’s ever lived.” He used that immense knowledge to eventually become a consultant for most of the progenitors of America’s early craft brewing movement such as Anchor Brewing in San Francisco, New Amsterdam Brewing in New York, and, yes, the Boston Beer Company. There he became good friends with Koch, helped perfect Boston Lager, and passed on to Koch his little yeast secret.

    You see, what Owades knew was that active dry yeast has an enzyme in it called alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH). Roughly put, ADH is able to break alcohol molecules down into their constituent parts of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Which is the same thing that happens when your body metabolizes alcohol in its liver. Owades realized if you also have that enzyme in your stomach when the alcohol first hits it, the ADH will begin breaking it down before it gets into your bloodstream and, thus, your brain.

    “And it will mitigate – not eliminate – but mitigate the effects of alcohol!” Koch told me.

    In his final years Owades even patented a product called Prequel, an all-natural pill similarly designed to limit drunkenness. No companies wanted to deal with the potential liabilities of the product, and Owades died in 2005 at the age of 86.

    Of course, I had to honor my longtime hero Koch, and a new beer hero I’d just learned about in Owades, and try this trick myself. So the next day I grabbed a six-pack of beer and a packet of Fleischmann’s and went to work. The older I get, the more of a lightweight I surely become, but after shoveling down six teaspoons and tilting back six bottles I felt nothing more than a little buzzed. Koch told me he keeps a breathalyzer around at all times just to assure he’s never too drunk. He never is. And, though I had no tangible “proof,” besides the fact I was still awake, I was pretty sure I wasn’t all that drunk either. Forever more I’d be yet another guy discreetly carrying a white powder around at bars. I’d advise you do likewise.
    Amazing!

    Esquire
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  • #2
    Very cool! I may actually try this! It would be an interesting experiment.
    Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
    Robert Southwell, S.J.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by phillygirl View Post
      Very cool! I may actually try this! It would be an interesting experiment.
      I'm not in the habit of getting drunk but I can really see this tip coming in handy during the summer. Everybody brews out here and everybody buys craft beers. I like to try new things but you can't really take a sip, swish it around, spit it out, and hand your beer to someone else. It would just be weird.

      This seems like an interesting solution!
      "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

      Comment


      • #4
        Scientific, but not entirely new. Hardcore drunks have known for ages to eat lots of bread to quell the deleterious effects of alcohol. Not quite the same as raw yeast, but it works the same. That's how people in prison make prison wine: there's enough leftover yeast in your typical commercially-produced bread that it can be used to start fermentation, so you take an apple and some bread and shove it in the toilet in your cell and hope that no one tosses the cell for a few days. Fermentation happens, and you've got, basically, apple wine.
        It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
        In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
        Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
        Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

        Comment


        • #5
          Great idea! Something that allows a person to multiply the number of beer calories they can consume at a sitting without any of the natural limiting effect of noticing that you're starting to doze off or get dizzy. Mmmmm, yeah. Way better than spacing the beers out by drinking water in between (which helps counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol as well) and dancing to burn some of the alcohol (and calories) off as you go.
          "Since the historic ruling, the Lovings have become icons for equality. Mildred released a statement on the 40th anniversary of the ruling in 2007: 'I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, Black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.'." - Mildred Loving (Loving v. Virginia)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
            I'm not in the habit of getting drunk but I can really see this tip coming in handy during the summer. Everybody brews out here and everybody buys craft beers. I like to try new things but you can't really take a sip, swish it around, spit it out, and hand your beer to someone else. It would just be weird.

            This seems like an interesting solution!
            I don't like to get drunk either, but I do like having drinks. My tolerance has been way down, so 2 is pretty much my limit these days. Not a big deal, but it would be fun to see if this really works. I'd never trust it to actually work well enough to drive, but I would like to see if I feel differently.
            Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
            Robert Southwell, S.J.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Adam View Post
              Scientific, but not entirely new. Hardcore drunks have known for ages to eat lots of bread to quell the deleterious effects of alcohol. Not quite the same as raw yeast, but it works the same. That's how people in prison make prison wine: there's enough leftover yeast in your typical commercially-produced bread that it can be used to start fermentation, so you take an apple and some bread and shove it in the toilet in your cell and hope that no one tosses the cell for a few days. Fermentation happens, and you've got, basically, apple wine.
              I'm not going to ask how you learned that, and I'm not going to contemplate how desperate for alcohol a person would have to be to drink something that fermented in the toilet. Yuck! Makes Sterno sound like a nice sauterne...of course, I think sauternes taste like paint thinner smells, so who am I to judge?
              "Since the historic ruling, the Lovings have become icons for equality. Mildred released a statement on the 40th anniversary of the ruling in 2007: 'I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, Black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.'." - Mildred Loving (Loving v. Virginia)

              Comment


              • #8
                This sooo would have helped me in college. I knew my 21st birthday would involve copious amounts of tequila (21 shots to be exact...). I was relegated to filling an empty bottle of vodka with water, putting it in the refrigerator, and drinking from it to get a break from the shot givers. And I only made it to 11 shots...but probably would have ended at 8 without the "vodka" break.
                Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
                Robert Southwell, S.J.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by phillygirl View Post
                  This sooo would have helped me in college. I knew my 21st birthday would involve copious amounts of tequila (21 shots to be exact...). I was relegated to filling an empty bottle of vodka with water, putting it in the refrigerator, and drinking from it to get a break from the shot givers. And I only made it to 11 shots...but probably would have ended at 8 without the "vodka" break.
                  I remember that (sort of). I knew I could not get as drunk as my friends wanted me to get. I ate buttered bread before the big event and then I walked around a lot and dumped drinks. I still had too many but not to the barfing drunk/hair hurting hangover level.

                  I did the hair-hurting drunk once at college and have never done it again.
                  "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
                    I remember that (sort of). I knew I could not get as drunk as my friends wanted me to get. I ate buttered bread before the big event and then I walked around a lot and dumped drinks. I still had too many but not to the barfing drunk/hair hurting hangover level.

                    I did the hair-hurting drunk once at college and have never done it again.
                    My stomach could never handle the amount of drinking I did in college. The barfing and hair hurting stage was far more frequent than I care to admit.
                    Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
                    Robert Southwell, S.J.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
                      I'm not going to ask how you learned that, and I'm not going to contemplate how desperate for alcohol a person would have to be to drink something that fermented in the toilet. Yuck! Makes Sterno sound like a nice sauterne...of course, I think sauternes taste like paint thinner smells, so who am I to judge?
                      You didn't ask, but I'll go ahead and tell you.

                      First and foremost, I'm not exactly pure as the driven snow. Not that I've spent a lot of time in a penitentiary, but I've known more than a couple of people who have. A few were biodieselers that I know personally. Personally, I'm just bemused that these people in jail and prison manage to remember their high school chemistry enough to suddenly produce something desirable if they actually want to; clearly this was not some accidental discovery, but instead it happened because who ever came up with this clearly understood the science enough to make it happen. Obviously someone didn't just accidentally drop an apple and a couple of slices of prison bread in a toilet and then not flush it for several days; it happened on purpose.

                      Secondly, I do extraditions for the Metro Nashville Police Department. These are guys who literally visit every jail in the nation. They know all of the tricks, everything from the two-cell Mayberry-style jail in Podunk, Mississippi, all the way up to ADX Florence. We can't help but talk about it. They all have their individual bitches: LA County is HORRENDOUSLY inefficient, and it takes HOURS to get inmates out of there, ready, and on a plane; they complained because last week the two that they got from your own San Francisco County jail were drunk as coots when they were picked up because they knew that San Francisco couldn't charge them for drunk and disorderly. They're going next week to get someone in New York, the most hated, because it's literally an all-day affair to get someone out of Riker's Island; fortunately for them, the guy is being held at Queens Central Booking until Monday instead. They actually find Cook County (Chicago) to be rather praise-worthy in their efficiency, but Joliet was an unspeakable disaster of cluster-fuckedness. ADX Florence is slow and mostly inconvenient because it's out in the middle of nowhere.

                      Finally, you probably don't want to know about all of the other nasties that surround you. Inmates get some seriously severe shit to clean their toilets every week or so in most prisons, and in jails, it's done even more frequently than that. After that kind of cleaning, those stainless toilets are probably actually cleaner than the stainless vats that are used to create your local craft beer. And you don't even want to know what is on the money in your purse. Or even your credit/debit card. Or your car door. Or your steering wheel. And if you take BART, you're going to have a complete conniption if you're the least bit worried about germs.
                      It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
                      In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
                      Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
                      Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Adam View Post
                        You didn't ask, but I'll go ahead and tell you.

                        First and foremost, I'm not exactly pure as the driven snow. Not that I've spent a lot of time in a penitentiary, but I've known more than a couple of people who have. A few were biodieselers that I know personally. Personally, I'm just bemused that these people in jail and prison manage to remember their high school chemistry enough to suddenly produce something desirable if they actually want to; clearly this was not some accidental discovery, but instead it happened because who ever came up with this clearly understood the science enough to make it happen. Obviously someone didn't just accidentally drop an apple and a couple of slices of prison bread in a toilet and then not flush it for several days; it happened on purpose.

                        Secondly, I do extraditions for the Metro Nashville Police Department. These are guys who literally visit every jail in the nation. They know all of the tricks, everything from the two-cell Mayberry-style jail in Podunk, Mississippi, all the way up to ADX Florence. We can't help but talk about it. They all have their individual bitches: LA County is HORRENDOUSLY inefficient, and it takes HOURS to get inmates out of there, ready, and on a plane; they complained because last week the two that they got from your own San Francisco County jail were drunk as coots when they were picked up because they knew that San Francisco couldn't charge them for drunk and disorderly. They're going next week to get someone in New York, the most hated, because it's literally an all-day affair to get someone out of Riker's Island; fortunately for them, the guy is being held at Queens Central Booking until Monday instead. They actually find Cook County (Chicago) to be rather praise-worthy in their efficiency, but Joliet was an unspeakable disaster of cluster-fuckedness. ADX Florence is slow and mostly inconvenient because it's out in the middle of nowhere.

                        Finally, you probably don't want to know about all of the other nasties that surround you. Inmates get some seriously severe shit to clean their toilets every week or so in most prisons, and in jails, it's done even more frequently than that. After that kind of cleaning, those stainless toilets are probably actually cleaner than the stainless vats that are used to create your local craft beer. And you don't even want to know what is on the money in your purse. Or even your credit/debit card. Or your car door. Or your steering wheel. And if you take BART, you're going to have a complete conniption if you're the least bit worried about germs.
                        I'm far from a germophobe. I'm one of those people who believe the immune system requires challenges to function propoerly. OTOH, I draw the line at booze brewed in the toilet, no matter how clean they can make it. What do they do, clean the toilet, brew wine in it and piss in the corner instead? IF I ended up in jail or prison, not going to trust my fellow inmates that far.
                        "Since the historic ruling, the Lovings have become icons for equality. Mildred released a statement on the 40th anniversary of the ruling in 2007: 'I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, Black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.'." - Mildred Loving (Loving v. Virginia)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by phillygirl View Post
                          My stomach could never handle the amount of drinking I did in college. The barfing and hair hurting stage was far more frequent than I care to admit.
                          Once was enough for me. I remember it took 3 days for me to get back to normal. Three really long, uncomfortable, weird days. This is why I'm not some huge addict. I like being tipsy or a little whatever but I can't stand feeling like that for hours. My idea of the perfect recreational experience is 2 hours of silly followed by instant and non-painful normal.

                          I'm shocked that I'm not a tweaker. It seems like the perfect experience for someone like me.
                          "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

                          Comment

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