Brewing your own beer can be a pain in the ass. You have to buy all kinds of expensive stuff, then you have to become proficient at fine-tuning the mashing of grains, the selection and nourishing of the proper yeasts, boiling and hopping according to elaborate and almost sadistic schedules, washing bottles (if you haven’t invested in ridiculously overpriced kegging equipment), and then aging or “lagering” until you have finally made a grand fool of yourself with a barely drinkable home brew (or “craft beer” if you will).

Well, one man has (intentionally or not) finally figured out a workaround:

A 61-year-old man — with a history of home-brewing — stumbled into a Texas emergency room complaining of dizziness. Nurses ran a Breathalyzer test. And sure enough, the man’s blood alcohol concentration was a whopping 0.37 percent, or almost five times the legal limit for driving in Texas.

There was just one hitch: The man said that he hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol that day.

“He would get drunk out of the blue — on a Sunday morning after being at church, or really, just anytime,” says , the dean of nursing at Panola College in Carthage, Texas. “His wife was so dismayed about it that she even bought a Breathalyzer.”

Naturally, doctors tried blaming the patient:

Other medical professionals chalked up the man’s problem to “closet drinking.” But Cordell and Dr. Justin McCarthy, a gastroenterologist in Lubbock, wanted to figure out what was really going on.

So the team searched the man’s belongings for liquor and then isolated him in a hospital room for 24 hours. Throughout the day, he ate carbohydrate-rich foods, and the doctors periodically checked his blood for alcohol. At one point, it rose 0.12 percent.

Eventually, McCarthy and Cordell pinpointed the culprit: an overabundance of brewer’s yeast in his gut.

That’s right, folks. According to Cordell and McCarthy, the man’s intestinal tract was acting like his own internal brewery.

The patient had an infection with , Cordell says. So when he ate or drank a bunch of starch — a bagel, pasta or even a soda — the yeast fermented the sugars into ethanol, and he would get drunk. Essentially, he was brewing beer in his own gut. Cordell and McCarthy the case of “auto-brewery syndrome” a few months ago in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Yes, he really did that.

I can’t say I’m jealous, though. I’d like to know precisely when I’m consuming whatever it is that my body might make.

There are also some legal issues. What about driving? The man might be guilty of driving while intoxicated if he drove, but that would depend on the wording of the statute. If defined solely on the basis of blood alcohol content, he might be. If the offense is drinking and driving, probably not.

And what if this were to happen in the gut of someone under 21? (Would the busybodies arrest the parents?)

I’d be willing to try this out, but is there any way to do it without becoming my own GMO?