Monday, August 22, 2011

'Missing' Lager Brewing Yeast Discovered in Patagonia

Hail Saccharomyces eubayanus!

A fruit fly's journey from Patagonia to Bavaria could be the reason we enjoy nice, cold-brewed lager beers today. The missing parent of the hybrid yeast used for brewing lagers has just been discovered in Patagonia.

Until now, scientists had known lager beers were made from a hybrid yeast, with half of its genes coming from a common ale yeast and the other half coming from an unknown species.

They found the missing yeast growing on southern beech trees in Patagonia. They sequenced the genes and found that this species of yeast was very likely to be a parent of the lager yeast hybrid.

"It’s a 99.5 percent match to the missing half of the lager genome. It's clear that it is this species," Hittinger said.

Read the whole story at LiveScience.