Fat Tire Presents: Zooming in on the Microscopic

Los Angeles, CA, United States
Est. 21.0km / 3 hrs 30 mins / Map

Fat Tire Presents: Zooming in on the Microscopic - Cya On The Road

Humans have a long-standing relationship with microbes both inside and outside of our bodies. When it comes to creating fermented drinks, microbes have been doing their part for at least 9,000 years. Yeast, a microscopic fungus, is naturally present in the air. When this fungus comes in contact with cereals containing certain sugars, the cereals undergo spontaneous fermentation thanks to these yeasty airborne microbes. A by-product of this fermentation is alcohol.With spring finally here, we’re taking an exploratory look at local places cultivating microbes in a variety of tasty brews. This 13 mile ride starts in Downtown LA at 7th St/Metro Station and visits a sake bar, a winery, a kombucha brewery and more. At each stop, we feature places utilizing microbes to create complex systems humans have relied on for thousands of years.This ride will connect you with these places so that you know they exist and we provide all the information here on how to order sake, wine, kombucha and beer. However please keep in mind that most of the featured stops don’t open every day or aren’t open until the early evening hours. From Downtown LA, the route heads toward Echo Park, climbs 150-250 feet through Elysian Park before zooming you down 478 feet onto Broadway, grazes Lincoln Heights, heads through Chinatown & the Arts District then back to the downtown core. This ride should take you about 1.5 to 2 hours. This ride is most appropriate for riders comfortable climbing and descending, sharing space with vehicle traffic, and riding in streets without bike infrastructure.Evidence of the oldest known alcohol goes as far back as 7000BC in China  - the evidence points to a drink that was a blend of fermented grapes, honey, hawthorn and rice. [https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-beer-archaeologist-17016372/]   In Egypt, evidence of barley beer has been found that dates back to 5000BC in Mesopotamia. [https://www.history.com/news/who-invented-beer] Beer’s status as a staple in humans’ daily lives most likely took root around 5000BC alongside the domestication of cereal. Evidence suggests that women were the primary brewers in ancient Mesopotamia, with Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess, overseeing the brewing process. [https://beerandbrewing.com/how-women-brewsters-saved-the-world/]Although tangible evidence only goes back around 11,000 years, some believe humans have consumed fermented drinks as far back as 200,000 years ago. Cultures all over the world independently developed a variety of fermented drinks based on the plants and microbes present in their region. Despite alcoholic drinks and our long relationship with them, the US Federal Government outlawed drinks that were more than 0.5% alcohol in 1920. Thirteen years later, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a law legalizing the sale of beer and wine with a 3.2% alcohol content. The law was set to take effect on April 7. On that day in 1933, 1.5 million barrels of beer were drunk in the US, giving rise to April 7 being designated as National Beer Day.With prohibition now a century behind us, the future of beer is not something to be taken for granted. With climate change on the horizon, disruption to agriculture is posed to raise the cost of every bottle of beer over time. You can learn more about beer’s impact on the climate and vice versa at DrinkSustainably.com - New Belgium’s website breaking down the brewing process and announcing Fat Tire as the country’s first certified carbon neutral beer. We are proud to partner with Fat Tire to bring you this ride in time for National Beer Day. As Fat Tire themselves state, “the production, distribution, and refrigeration of beer all contribute to climate change.” New Belgium’s goals to become fully carbon neutral across all operations by 2030 have led the company to commit to wind power, solar, and biogas technology as renewables to power the brew. [https://www.brewbound.com/news/new-belgium-fat-tire-amber-ale-is-first-carbon-neutral-beer-nationally-distributed-in-us/]As you explore the different purveyors of fermented goods along this route, remember that you belong to a long line of humans, microbes and plants that have co-existed over millenia. The effects of human-powered climate change are already being felt throughout the globe. As Earth Day comes and goes this month, we invite you to think about your relationship to the earth, all the way from the single-celled organisms to the big rock we call home. 

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