The science of drinking all you like and not getting drunk

The co-founder of the Boston Beer Company insists that all you have to do is swallow dry yeast before you start drinking.

koch.png
He looks happy. TMZ/YouTube; screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Do not try this at home.

Don't try it at work, either. And please, please don't try it in your local restaurant, bar, or bar mitzvah.

On the other hand, I have no control over your life, so I will just offer you this allegedly scientific information.

Jim Koch, co-founder of the Boston Beer Company, says there's a way to drink as much as you want and not get proportionately drunk.

Some might pause already to consider that there is no point drinking unless you at least have the hope of feeling a touch happy, giddy, or loose-limbed.

Still, Koch says his method is very simple. All he does is swallow some Fleischmann's Dry Yeast before embarking on a severe session of beer-drinking.

This isn't the finest-tasting thing with which to adorn one's mouth. So Koch told Esquire that he mixes it in with some yogurt to make it more palatable.

"One teaspoon per beer, right before you start drinking," he said.

Here's the science part, if you can bear it. Active dry yeast is blessed with alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH). This is an enzyme. ADH operates a little like your liver. It breaks down alcohol into carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

So, if you have it inside you before you take your first sip of alcohol, it attacks your beer, wine, or spirits before they enter your bloodstream and begin to make you believe that you are far more attractive, witty, and interesting than you really are.

Koch did offer one essential element of caution. His yeastly trick doesn't entirely eliminate the effects of boozing it up. The word he used was "mitigate."

I feel sure that responsible adults, with nothing better to do over the next few nights, might attempt to re-create this scientific experiment, all in science's cause.

Naturally, I would like to hear of the results.

I would also like to caution you a touch. As Industry Leaders Magazine reports, even if the yeast infusion means that you don't feel so drunk while you're drinking, you might have a much, much worse hangover than you've ever had before.

There is the potential of toxic byproducts that come from a lot of alcohol being broken down in your system.

I hope I have offered sufficient health warnings.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)