Cover art for podcast Distillations | Science History Institute

Distillations | Science History Institute

325 EpisodesProduced by Science History InstituteWebsite

Each episode of Distillations podcast takes a deep-dive into a moment of science-related history in order to shed light on the present.


Intoxication and Civilization: Beer's Ancient Past

This show takes on the frothy subject of beer, and explores the science, culture, and history behind the suds.

First, Bob and Michal go back to school--beer school--and they learn a few things about what makes beer so tasy. 

Then we talk to Patrick E. McGovern, a beer and wine archaeologist, and Roger Barth, a  chemist, professor, and home brewer. They discuss the science behind beer, how modern craft breweries can help us understand ancient beers, and how technology has allowed us to drink like an ancient king. They also discuss the spiritual side of beer and the role beer has played in human evolution.


00:07 Introduction

00:57 Bob and Michal go to beer school

07:12 Interview with Patrick E. McGovern and Roger Barth


Hosts: Michal Meyer and Bob Kenworthy

Guests: Patrick E. McGovern and Roger Barth

Reporter, Producer & Editor: Mariel Carr



"Take Me Higher," Jahzzar

"Green Lights," Jahzzar

"Bill Pickett," Robodub

"Portasound Dub" Robodub

"Watch the Road Bub," All Urban Outfield

"Seconde Introspection," Horten V3

"Devil with the Devil," Underscore Orkestra

"Foods that start with Q," All Urban Outfield

"The Plaintive Heating Griddle," Ergo Phizmiz

"Elephant," Moana

"Sunny Day," The Rabbits

"Nia," Dubh Thrian

"Sonstiges," Podington Bear

 All songs courtesy of the Free Music Archive,


Check out Distillations magazine at, where you'll find articles, videos, and our podcast. 

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