One of the buzz happenings with beer is the search for new flavors and micro-breweries are springing up across the globe. John Maier
, of Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon, took the search for a unique beer in a new direction when he brewed a concoction which used a fungus extracted from his own beard.
Maier, 57 years-old, plucked the yeast from the bristles of his thick beard. Maier last shaved in 1978, making his beard some 34 years-old. The search for a fungus from his bristles was originally done as a joke
, as staff from the brewery went on a search for different types of wild yeast that had the potential to be used in brewing.
However, after being cultivated, the yeast was found to be suitable. The yeast was added to the brewing process along with the other three ingredients of beer: hops, barley and water, and a beer produced.
The development of the new brew was undertaken in conjunction with White Labs, a San Diego microbiology company that specializes in brewer's yeasts. White Labs grew up the yeast and demonstrated that it was suitable for brewing (able to cause fermentation).
Before entering main production, the Scientist notes
, the flavors were examined by gas chromatography, to assess the volatile flavor compounds, and by the scientists tasting the early batches themselves. Apparently this produced beer with a mild, fruity aroma and was ideal to make a golden ale.
have now made several bottles of the beer, although full production will not begin until 2013. The beer has been named
'The New Crustacean'.
Meanwhile, Maier has set up his own blog
. It's all about beer, and beards of course.