Tag Archives: Alcohol

Surviving Prohibition: The Anheuser-Busch Edition

For 13 years between 1920 – 1933 it was illegal to make alcohol in America. While over 1,000 breweries went out of business, several found ways to retool their facilities and keep making money.

Not content with slipping into bankruptcy, Anheuser-Busch switched from making beer to amphibious cars. While I have never seen them in any of John Wayne’s WWII movies, apparently they saw action with the army & navy in the second world war.

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Booze + Coffee= 90

Some of the good folks over at the University of California, Irvine like to study old people and what has helped them to live past 90. In a study that began with 14,000 retirees they examined the lifestyles of 1,600 really old people.

Among their findings they found that 1 serving of alcohol and 1 serving of coffee daily contributes to a longer life. They also found that people who are overweight when in their 70s live longer than skinny 70 year olds.

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Sake Step 1: Prepare the Rice!

Sake is a very complex alcohol that is made using a unique blend of wine-making and beer-brewing techniques.


In the Sake-making process, the first step is to prepare the rice for fermentation.

To this end, rice is passed over a rough stone to slowly ware down the hulls. The longer rice is pollished like this the better quality the Sake will be.

Polishing the rice like this process can take up to 4 days, and the finest quality of grains for making sake end up 50% of their original size.

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Expiration Date: 10,000 Years Ago

9,000 years ago people in today’s Yangtze Valley, China cultivated wild rice—though perhaps Rice is like the dog of the plant kingdom, in that it practically begged to be domesticated. The plant itself has a remarkable ability to thrive in either dry or flooded fields. In addition, it mass polinates via the wind.

Today, there are over 110,000 varieties of Rice, although only Oryza sativa var. japonica is ever used for making alochol—the oldest of which (made actually 10,000 years ago) is a Rice wine made also with fruit and honey.

Dogfish Head teamed up with molecular biologist Patrick McGovern to re-brew this ancient alcohol in 2006. The result is their Chateau Jiahu—named after the site in China’s Henan Province where the archeological evidence turned up.

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Pappy Van Winkle’s Blues

Booze has a funny knack of appealing to us at our personal lows and our highs. Did you reach for a celebratory drink after the last big win you had in your personal life?

Robby Fabbri of the 2019 Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues sure did. Except his drink of choice was a reclusive 13 year old Pappy Van Winkle Rye Whiskey, and he chugged all $1,200 of it.

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Churchill Brought a Prescription for Booze to America

Prohibition lasted from 1920 – 1933, and while it made alcohol annoying to come by, it definitely did not make it impossible to imbibe. In addition to illicit means there were legal loopholes built into the law itself.

Medical doctors were allowed to prescribe alcohol to patients for a variety of conditions. One such doctor prescribed 1,880 gallons of booze in a single month.

Before he would visit America the Prime Minister of England—Winston Churchill—secured one such prescription from his doctor, so that his stay need not be a dry one.

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New Gins That Aren’t Pine-y

Gin has come a very long way since you tried sneaking some from your grandparents’ spice cabinet, and you are certainly not alone if you did not care for the overwhelming pine tree flavor.

The European Union requires that all Gin made under its domain taste like that. In recent years Gin makers on other continents have been toying with the ingredients, and many of them do not even taste remotely of Pinesol!

Los Apóstoles is a gin made in Argentina, and instead of just the Juniper Berries (that give traditional gin its pine tree flavor) this beautiful spirit is made with coriander seeds, peppermint, eucalyptus, yerba mate, and pink grapefruit.

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