Jim Koch is one smart dude. Not only is he the billionaire co-founder and chairman of Boston Beer Company (they make Samuel Adams, if you didn’t know), but he’s also developed a sure-fire way to slam beers all night and not get drunk. In an interview a ways back with Esquire, Koch revealed his secret:
“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.
How much yeast?
“One teaspoon per beer, right before you start drinking.”
So, how did he stumble upon this brilliant bit of trickeration?
…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.
But, how does it work?
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.
Sweet! Now I’m in the clear, right? Well, not exactly:
“And it will mitigate – not eliminate – but mitigate the effects of alcohol!” Koch told me.
Mitigate? Schmitigate. All I know is that your loser buddy who doesn’t like to drink to get drunk — you know exactly who I’m talking about — is fresh out of excuses.
Although, I do have one question: exactly how much yeast does one have to eat to “mitigate” the dozen green beers I may or may not have on St. Patrick’s Day today?