In Review: "Proof - The Science of Booze"

Our relationship with alcohol goes back deep into our history as a species; many anthropologists speculate that the desire to create fermented beverages initiated the development of agriculture and the rise of civilization.  In his book Proof : The Science of Booze, author Adam Rogers examines our relationship with alcohol from several varied perspectives.  Domestication of yeast, developing the process of distillation, cultivation of fermentables, how we get drunk, and why we feel so bad the day after are all topics that Rogers examines in his book.

The book is well written, balancing the scientific facts that are being presented with anecdotes about the scientists and research process, and low key humor.  Science writing is challenging, since cutting edge research findings are (by their nature) tenuous.  However, Rogers handles these issues well, never saying that scientists have "proven" anything.  Instead, he discusses (in brief) the experimental results and what they suggest about the natural world.  I personally enjoyed the discussion about the detective work involved in identifying a particular mold found growing near the Canada Club distillery.  However, some more discussion about the implications of the mold identification would have been welcomed.

If you enjoy science (especially chemistry and biology) and tasty adult beverages, this a great book for you.  As a homebrewer, it is interesting to learn more about yeast archives and starch conversion.  The ebook is available for a very reasonable price, so you don't have any excuse to not read it.