Proof: The Science of Booze

Proof: The Science of Booze

Adam Rogers

May 27, 02014

The first salon talk took place before The Interval was officially opened, when the back bar and much of our signature decor weren’t fully installed. It was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed: the launch of the first book by Adam Rogers, articles editor at Wired; Proof: The Science of Booze is the 10,000 year history of alcohol. And so, as William Faulkner says: 'Civilization begins with distillation.'

The subject was perfect for our new Long Now bar; but the talk was even more fitting because Adam had been instrumental in helping realized our vision for The Interval. He connected Long Now with both Jennifer Colliau (our Beverage Director and the mastermind of our cocktail menu) and Lance Winters of St George Spirits (whose artful distillations fill the bottles of our "bottlekeep" ceiling).

You will hear both of those stories in detail during this talk, as well as the tale of picking wild juniper on Nevada’s Mount Washington to use in the gin Lance crafted for The Interval. Adam’s presentation also includes his close encounter with the 10,000 year-old “Mother Eve” of booze and a remarkable anecdote about a Japanese chemist who nearly changed history by applying sake techniques to American whiskey in the 19th Century, in the process he filed some of the first biotech patents ever.

So the launch of Proof made for the perfect premiere to our “Conversations at The Interval” lecture series. Yet another reason to thank Adam Rogers. If you’ve been to The Interval (or just watched our other videos), you can see how early it was—not only is the Otto chalkboard nowhere to be seen, the back bar has yet to be built. Jennifer led our very first bartending team that night, though she also stepped on stage to tell the audience a bit about our gin.

For an organization that is all about time, this event encapsulated a remarkable moment in our history: as the lively project we call The Interval became manifest.

Cheers to you, Adam! Thanks for a great talk, and everything else.

Wired Magazine editor and author of "Proof: The Science of Booze", Adam Rogers leads us on a tour of the 10,000 year story of alcohol. With deep historical research, expert testimony, and solid science he discusses the accidental discovery of fermentation, an alternative American whiskey history, and his own role in the pre-history of Long Now's Interval bar. This talk was the first ever in The Interval's salon talk series; it took place in May of 02014, 2 weeks before The Interval officially opened. From May 02014.

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