Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's Miller time somewhere

A moment of silence, please, to mark the passing of Dr. Joseph Owades last Friday in Sonoma, Calif. This biochemist's most significant contribution was the invention of "lite" beer.

"He created a so-called diet beer by isolating an enzyme that could break down starches, allowing the yeast in beer to digest the starch and therefore lower the number of calories," Dr. Owades' Los Angeles Times obituary said. "Rheingold introduced the low-calorie beer in 1967 under the Gablinger's label, but it didn't catch on." [In 1975, the process was purchased by Miller Brewing Co., which used it to create Miller Lite.]

At Dr. Owades' funeral, one eulogist described him as a man with great taste ... to which a mourner in the back yelled, "Less filling!"