I assumed that most people had heard about this already, as it's been going around the beer blogs like crazy, but: the flowers of the Bertram Palm can create an alcoholic liquid up to 3.8% abv
. This little bit of magic uses the help of newly discovered yeasts to turn its nectar into alcohol, which apparently is consumed by a bunch of local animals including the tiny Pentail Tree Shrew:
(Yeah, that's the same pic associated with every version of the story
. Is there just one pic of this damn thing or something?)
They call the liquid 'beer' but I haven't really seen any reasoning for that beyond the alcoholic strength:
"The maximum alcohol concentration that we recorded was 3.8 percent," [German biologist Frank] Weins says. "That's in the range of a beer."
Fermented nectar to me seems to be more along the lines of a mead, right?
Also of interest:
And the tree shrews spend several hours each night drinking this palm beer. Weins calculates that the tree shrew is imbibing what would be the human equivalent of nine glasses of wine an evening. However, the pentail tree shrew shows no signs of being drunk.
The Pentail Tree Shrew: four inches long and can drink you under the table