SINCE ANCIENT TIMES grain and fruit have been allowed to ferment into alcohol. Fermentation is the process in which yeast breaks down sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Whether your pleasure is okolehao, scotch, or makgeolli, every culture has a drink to cure ills, relax nerves, mark occasions, and calm stomachs.
When things get a little too calm, alcohol works the other way. So it seems. Then there’s the “Thank God it’s Friday” excuse to consume mass quantities.
After all commercial exaltation is exhausted and peer pressure ignored, an acceptable vintage port by a crackling fire with a nice book is probably good for the mind, body, and soul. But when this (almost) all-natural beverage becomes a destructive force? Who do you call?
Since the 1930s Americans have turned to Alcoholics Anonymous. An approach to manage an addiction through abstinence. Now an international fellowship, membership is one of America’s more constructive exports.
Surrounded by creative types all day, every day, we see eight sides of the issue. In the end, one phrase sounds more true than all the others. Sobriety brings clarity.