EP 171: Alchemy of Alcohol


This week Roejen, from the Project Archivist podcast, joins Patrick to discuss the history and magic of brewing, distilling, and fermenting alcohol.  Roe explains the difference in types of beer, wines, whiskeys, and bourbon. What makes a porter a porter and a stout a stout, or what the heck is mead really?  

Roe gives some of the chemistry in the “alchemical” process of making your own drink from dandelion wine to making your own lactose based beers.  Roe further connects beer with powers materiel by explaining how the origin of the  IPA connects to global trade and imperial powers.  

Patrick gives a shout out to America’s first unofficial state doctor Benjamin Rush and his creation of the temperance movement.  Rush was one of the founding fathers and had some interesting theories on what alcoholic drinks were acceptable and which lead to ruin.  

Roe connects the myths of witches with the first generation of female brewers, and how the powers that be helped them to spread urban legends in hopes of keeping the those female brewers in the backseat.  

Roe explains what beer reveals about monopoly power.  Patrick gives insight into and how craft brewing helped save America from a total monopoly of beer was broken in the late 1970’s when President carter signed H.R. 1337 allowing home brewing.

Plus grog for the poor and some Michigan geography.  


Atwater in the Park

The Isherwoods: Brewers of Windsor

Colonial Americans Drank Roughly Three Times as Much as Americans Do Now

The Truth About the Origins of IPA

The dark history of women, witches, and beer

What beer reveals about monopoly power



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