Top Menu

Does Jim Koch’s ‘secret’ to drinking without getting drunk work?


How to drink without getting drunk – by drinking yeast? Will this work? An Esquire interview with Jim Koch of Boston Beer last week went viral when Koch revealed his secret to drinking all night and not getting drunk. “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.” followed up with “both sides of the story” investigation, but concluded, “For now, a definitive answer awaits empirical evidence gathered through properly controlled studies.”

So here’s an anecdotal contribution. Twenty years or so ago, Daria and I attended a fundraiser for a local (for us, at the time) Peoria musician who was ill and without health insurance. There were kegs of donated beer that sold for 25 cents a plastic cup, although in the spirit of the evening most of us contributed more. As we headed home, trying to remember the last time we drank filtered — the key word in the conversation — pale lagers, Daria remembered something written by Charlie Papazian suggesting craft beer was less likely to give you a hangover because it was unfiltered (hence, containing more yeast).

So when we got home we opened up packages of dry yeast, dumped them in glasses of water and choked them down. No hangovers in the morning, but of course that proved nothing. The only thing we really learned is how bad a cocktail dry yeast and water makes. Wish we’d known the yogurt trick.


Colorado’s booming beer taprooms experience some growing pains. Wait, brewery taprooms and food trucks aren’t the greatest inventions ever? [Via The Denver Post]

‘Brew Dogs’ visit New Orleans to resurrect a ‘zombie beer’ “It’s just counterintuitive. I was always taught not to drink the bayou water.” [Via The Times Picayune]

Boulder’s Kettle and Stone Brewing to change name to avoid trademark fight. This is what happens when “craft” camaraderie and real world business reality meet. At the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver earlier this month Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head said his company spent more money last year defending its trademarks than it cost to open the brewery in 1995.[Via The Denver Post]

‘IPA’ beer abbreviation not as fun as one might think. A reminder that in the real world people (there’s that term again) still ask, “What the heck is an IPA?” [Via azcentral]

13 Responses to Does Jim Koch’s ‘secret’ to drinking without getting drunk work?

  1. Gray Gillman April 28, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Never heard that one. I doubt there is anything in it, but who knows.

    One thing I’d like to know, this applies to you too Stan and people like Charlie Papazian, John Maiers Steve Beaumont, and some others I know (or know of) in the beer world, is how they stay so slim while enjoying the beverage we all know and love? :)


  2. Pivní Filosof April 28, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    You may want to have a look at this thread regarding Koch’s secret.

    Quite an interesting reading.

    • Stan Hieronymus April 28, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      I’d like to see such a “study” conducted with multiple participants and with a breathalyzer in hand.

      • Pivní Filosof April 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

        The one thing in Koch’s “secret” that doesn’t quite fit, IMO, is that, as far as I can understand, it requires you know how many beers you’ll drink in advance. Which often isn’t something you can actually know beforehand.

        To me, drinking slowly, eating something and drinking water every now and again has always worked fine (provided I actually do it).

        • Stan Hieronymus April 28, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

          I am a fan of the “Fred Eckhardt Rule”: a glass of water for each glass of beer.

          • SteveH April 28, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

            Just as long as the lines are short. ;)

  3. Patrick Ryan April 28, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    That “real world journalist” didn’t seem to care about beer at all with his insult of the entire beer industry. I wonder if that author even knows what a “lager” is.

  4. C May 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    I’m confused, what did Kettle and Stone change their name to? And what the heck is an American Bold Ale?

    • Stan Hieronymus May 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      The story says they will announce the new name soon. Given that the “American Bold Ale” is newly coined perhaps it defines the style.

      • C May 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

        Apparently it’s the name of a beer they make according to Google. Hopefully the new brewery name is a little better… Kettle and Stone is kind of cool though I’d have thought it was a collaboration beer with Stone if I saw it on a menu, especially with the number of collaborations Stone is making these days.

  5. Nate O. May 6, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    “Kettle and Stone” is just a really boring, indistinct name. I thought “Fate” brewing was as well. If you’re going to be boring, at least be unique. I rather like the German “last name or town”+”Brauerei” formula.

    • Stan Hieronymus May 6, 2014 at 10:59 am #

      I kind of like Pig Pounder (new brewery in North Carolina).

      • Nate O. May 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

        See, that’s a good name. Short, unique, memorable.

Powered by WordPress