Friday, January 12, 2007

Festive special: The brewer's tale

When I give tours of the brewery, one of the most common questions I hear is "where do you put the alcohol in?" This article by Andy Coghlan of The New Scientist answers that question, along with a quick lesson in microbiology.

Next time you raise a glass of something alcoholic to your lips, spare a thought for the humble organism that makes it all possible. From the crudest home brew to the most exquisite champagne, the production of almost all alcoholic drinks depends on the single-celled fungus we call brewer's yeast.

Some time in the distant past Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to give it its full name, developed a chemical trick that would transform human societies. Some anthropologists have argued that the desire for alcohol was what persuaded our ancestors to become farmers and so led to the birth of civilisation. Whether that's true of not, alcohol has had a huge influence on our history and our prehistory.

Read the full article here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For an American beer-lover who spends 3-4 months a year in Baden Wuertemburg, and a lot of that time on the Bodensee, this blog is a revelation; and I hope to review it in detail as time permits. I am only sorry to have discovered it so late, as we just got back to Vaihingen Enz from Ludwigsburg am Bodensee today. My vote for the best Export (vom fass) changes every time we visit.....Gold Ochsen (Ulm) might get the nod this time (so far), but Hoepfner (Pforzheim) is always hard to beart, as is Mekatzer Gold is usually a contender. Can one really make a rational choice as to the best beer in Baden Wuertemburg? Not sure this is possible.

But keep trying! I haven't given up so far....

Great blog....keep it up.

Best and auf wiedersehen---
Schnorgie in Vaihingen an der Enz

ps......I caught whatever bug is making the rounds in southwestern Germany....damn near killed me! the worst cold I've had in a very long time.