Alcohol

Crowds on the first day of Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Crowds Pour in for Oktoberfest After Two Years of Pandemic Closures

For the first time since 2019, millions will travel to Munich for the famous beer festival

Market research firm Fact.MR estimated that global nonalcoholic wine sales reached $1.6 billion in 2021 and will double in the next decade.

The Science Behind Nonalcoholic Wine

Drinking habits are changing, and vintners are exceeding tasters' expectations with new options stripped of their alcohol

Magic mushrooms remain illegal in the U.S. for recreational use, but researchers have tested psilocybin as a treatment for a variety of mental illnesses. 

Psychedelic ‘Magic Mushroom’ Ingredient Could Help Treat Alcohol Addiction

Study participants taking the drug psilocybin with talk therapy showed an 83 percent decline in heavy drinking

A green crab, Carcinus maenas

Innovation for Good

New Hampshire Distillery Makes Whiskey Out of Invasive Crabs

Each bottle uses about one pound of green crabs

In an effort to combat counterfeit whiskies, researchers in Australia created a device called NOS.E that can detect and identify differences by "sniffing" spirits.

Innovation for Good

A New Electronic Nose May Help Sniff Out Counterfeit Whiskey

Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia developed NOS.E, a device that can detect differences among whiskies by "smelling" them

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders could affect between 1 and 5 percent of children in the United States.

New Tools May Help Diagnose Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

If conditions stemming from exposure to alcohol in-utero can be better identified, then scientists can more effectively research treatments

Ancient people might have used these elongated tubes to drink beer from the same pot during ceremonial feasts or gatherings. 

New Research

Ancient People May Have Sipped Beer Through These 5,500-Year-Old Drinking Straws

Eight gold and silver tubes might be the oldest known drinking straws, according to a new study from the Russian Academy of Sciences

Archaeologists discovered a ceramic colander near grain silos at a dig in Israel, suggesting evidence of beer consumption in social gatherings about 7,000 years ago. 

Beer Flowed Freely at Gatherings in the Jordan Valley 7,000 Years Ago

Researchers find evidence that prehistoric communities consumed the alcoholic beverage during social events

Only three substances—clove extract, tolfenamic acid, and pyritinol—showed slightly more symptom relief than the placebo.

From Korean Pear Juice to Clove Extract, Scientists Put Hangover Cures to the Test—but None Worked

Researchers examined 23 different at-home treatments for side effects of heavy drinking

The science behind bubbles in champagne is an active field of research. Here, a red spotlight highlights bubbles growing at the bottom of a goblet, where they stick thanks to surface tension.

The Science Behind Champagne Bubbles

As you uncork that bottle and raise your glass, take time to toast the physics and chemistry along with the New Year

The ring could date back to as early as the third century C.E.

Cool Finds

Ancient Amethyst Ring Found in Israel May Have Been Worn to Ward Off Hangovers

Found near a Byzantine-era winery, the jewelry likely belonged to a wealthy, high-status individual

Almost 75 years after the mobster’s death, an eclectic bunch of enthusiasts continue to chase his memory.

Inside the Global Cult of Al Capone

A recent auction of the Chicago gangster's mementos testifies to his enduring appeal—and the thorny nature of collecting items owned by criminals

Bronze and Iron Age miners' poop contained Penicillium roqueforti, which is still used to make blue cheese today.

Cool Finds

Europeans Enjoyed Blue Cheese and Beer 2,700 Years Ago, Study Suggests

Ancient poop from salt mines in the Alps contained the same fungi used in brewing and cheesemaking today

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The Sake Master Who Bucks Ancient Tradition—in America

The ancient Japanese art of brewing a fragrant alcoholic drink from rice is being reinterpreted by Atsuo Sakurai in an unlikely setting

Both beer and wine are thought to predate distilled spirits.

Ask Smithsonian

'Which Came First: Beer or Wine?' and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

This month's book picks include The Engagement, How the Word Is Passed and Drunk.

Books of the Month

The Fight to Legalize Gay Marriage, the Woman Who Couldn't Be Silenced and Other New Books to Read

These June releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

Three women dressed in period garb as alewives. The tall hats became a part of witch iconography.

Why Did Women Stop Dominating the Beer Industry?

Strict gender norms pushed them out of a centuries-long tradition

The brewery “may have been built specifically to supply the royal rituals that were taking place inside the funeral facilities of the kings of Egypt,” says lead archaeologist Matthew Adams.

Cool Finds

World's Oldest 'Industrial-Scale' Brewery Found in Egypt

Located in an ancient necropolis, the 5,000-year-old facility was capable of producing up to 5,900 gallons of beer at a time

Two filmmakers launched a nationwide fundraiser to help save the surviving bars.

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Rise and Fall of America's Lesbian Bars

Only 15 nightlife spaces dedicated to queer and gay women remain in the United States

It may seem a little absurd, but wildlife getting drunk off of fermenting fruits isn't a rare occurrence. Bats, moose and birds are known to consume copious amounts of fermented fruits.

Watch This Backyard Squirrel Get a Little Tipsy on Fermented Pears

A Minnesota resident captured a video of the bushy-tailed rodent's drunken smorgasbord

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