The science of alcohol
The science of alcohol

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The science of alcohol

1 Introducing the science of alcohol

The brewing and distillation industries bring together the sciences of biology, chemistry and engineering in a unique way that has developed over thousands of years. We are now surrounded by a choice of many different types of beer and spirits to consume. But why, for instance, are there so many different varieties of gin? What happens to your body when you drink alcohol, and just why are hangovers so bad?

Nick Boley, a National Director of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale), will now introduce the concept of the science of alcohol and the themes of this course further.

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I'm Nick Boley, and I'm a director of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. And we exist to promote and protect traditional British beer, real ale, and the pubs in which we all like to drink it. I became fascinated by pubs as a small boy, by looking at pub signs whenever we went visiting family. That grew into a fascination with pubs, and eventually a fascination with the beer I could drink there. Exploring the science of alcohol is not just about what makes a really good pint or a great gin and tonic. It goes far much deeper than that into the products themselves and what's behind them. And that comes down to one magic ingredient, ethanol. You'll look at how it interacts with the human body and how scientists analyse alcoholic drinks for safety, for quality, and for product protection. You'll explore the history and economics of alcohol, too. And if you think you might enjoy doing some homework, there's always an option to set up your own scientific experiment and make your own home brew. I really hope that you enjoy the course as much as I enjoy drinking a really, really good pint. Cheers.
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