For the last 600 years, brewers have been confined to using only two yeast strains: ale yeast and lager yeast. But, bees and wasps might be the key to unlocking a new type of beer, thanks to the University of North Carolina’s discovery of Bumblebeer, a name for two new wild Lachancea yeast strains riding on the bodies of these insects.
While there are many yeast strains in the wild, not all of them are capable of making beer: they have to be able to ferment and they have to be able to process maltose, the sugar from barley.
The two Bumblebeer strains have proven quite versatile, as they can make not only lager styles, but they can also be tweaked to taste like honey or light and tangy.
But, where the 2 strains might become particularly valuable is in sour production. Whereas traditional wild yeasts can take months or years to produce a viable sour, the Bumblebeer strains are producing sours in a couple of weeks, thanks to their ability to produce 10 times more acid than other strains.
Researchers predict the beer will land somewhere between a sour and an ale. These new yeast strains have been patented and are slated for mass commercialization; North Carolina’s Deep River has already made one beer with it earlier this year.
California’s Pliny the Elder IPA has taken a tumble to No. 2, as the American Homebrewers Association has declared Bell’s Two-Hearted IPA the best beer in the United States; Pliny had reigned supreme for the previous 8 years. Surprisingly Ballast Point made the list at number 8, considering they’re not exactly craft beer anymore.
Bell’s was also named the best brewery this year, followed by Founders and Russian River.
Austin’s oldest craft brewery, Celis, closed its doors in 2001 after a sale to Miller, but thanks to the original owner’s daughter it’s seeing new life and reopening its doors on Friday, June 23rd, with a grand opening on July 11th; the grand opening date will mark exactly 25 years to the day of the original brewery’s grand opening in 1992.
Christine Celis, an original owner in the first brewery and daughter of her Belgian partner Pierre, decided to rebuild and reopen, while also reintroducing original recipes like the Celis White, a Belgian-style witbier. She will be joined by her daughter Daytona Camps. Craig Mycoskie from Rahr & Sons will be taking over as head brewer.
Celis is credited as sparking Austin’s craft beer craze and they won several GABF awards in their time.
Surprise, surprise, the secret to enjoying beer without getting a beer truck front-loaded on your abs: exercise, watch your food intake, exercise, realize that each beer has the equivalent of a potato’s carbs and calories, exercise, and realize that the body focuses on processing alcohol first with any excess calories going to fat storage. Also exercise.
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