I’ve learned that writing about alcohol is great for the ol’ site meter. Even the teetotalers got active in the comments. Despite the rampant sobriety that seems to be spreading amongst sciency types, I still believe that alcohol is the lubricant that greases the scientific process.
But scientists — being scientists — aren’t just interesting in drinking the alcohol; they also want to know where the critters that make it come from and how it gets produced. Of course, alcohol on its own isn’t very enjoyable. That’s why beer makers add things like hops to their brew, and wine makers try to find grapes that contribute to the nose, body, and, well, whatever other body parts a glass of wine may have.
My interests in evolutionary genetics and drinking seem to have found the perfect overlap in two articles in press at Heredity. One deals with the genealogical relationship between grape cultivars. The other involves the evolution of hops. Unfortunately, I do not have an electronic subscription to Heredity, and the articles have not yet been published in the print copy. So, if anyone has access to the articles and is feeling charitable, I would really appreciate it if you could email me a pdf.