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Monday beer links: Yeast family tree, peaches and ‘selling out’

MONDAY BEER AND WINE LINKS, MUSING, 09.12.2016

Beer yeast is tame. Wine yeast is wild. Draw your own conclusions.
[Via The Washington Post]
Why we’re so good at making BEER: Study reveals how humans harnessed microbes to create the perfect drink.
[Via Daily Mail]
Domestication and Divergence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Beer Yeasts.
[Via Cell]
If you are feeling brave you may dive right into the third link (peer-reviewed academic/scientific research). Otherwise opt for the newspaper translations (first two). Quite honestly, this stuff if way above my paygrade. Fascinating, but I need serious handholding from people who know what they are talking about to write about it with any confidence. Chapter 6 of Brewing Local is about foraging for yeast, but is downright basic (written in a way I can understand) when it comes to wild versus domesticated. Nonethless, I would call The Washington Post headline oversimplification. You’ll also note that the researchers sequenced only Saccharomyces cerevisiae (top fermenting) strains, leaving Saccharomyces pastorianus for another paper — although it turns out (page 1398) that 10 of the S. cervevisiae strains were used to produce lager beers.

Analysis of farmhouse yeast (kveik).
And then there is the matter of non-industrial yeast strains.

Muri is identified as either lager yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) or its close relative Saccharomyces bayanus. That’s consistent with an earlier analysis White Labs had Accugenix do, but very surprising. How did lager yeast wind up in the innermost arm of Nordfjord, right up under the glacier? Did someone at some point get yeast from a lager brewery? Or is the story more complicated? S. bayanus and S. pastorianus are both cold-tolerant species. Do they live wild in Norway? It seems unlikely, but I’m not sure anyone has ever checked carefully enough to answer with a clear yes or no. (Note: this isn’t the first time lager yeast has shown up where it wasn’t supposed to be.)

[Via Larsblog]

The craft beer project that grew from Masumoto Family Farm’s peach trees.
“Hey, Stan, why isn’t this farmer in Brewing Local?” Sorry, no excuses, David “Mas” Masumoto should have been. [Via Los Angeles Times]

What ‘Selling Out’ Is Actually About.
Modern Times founder Jacob McKean does a takedown of the “selling out” article linked to from here a couple of weeks ago Pattisonian or Cornellian proportions. It certainly provoked plenty of comment (with the post directly and elsewhere). What bothers me is that it feels like it has become this story: “Narcos season 2: Pablo Escobar’s son labels Netflix show ‘insulting’, lists 28 historical mistakes.” Pablo Escobar’s son has a rooting interest in that story. Jacob McKean has a rooting interest in the “selling out” story. I’d rather read a well-reported story from somebody without a rooting interest about what has changed at breweries from Goose Island to Devils Backbone since AB-InBev acquired them. [Via Modern Times]

The Annoying Psychology of How Your Friends Influence the Beer You Order.
[Via New York Magazine]
The Rams Are Dead To Me, So I Answered 3,352 Questions To Find A New NFL Team.
[Via FiveThirtyEight]
Cheers to the Hard-Working Brewers on Labor Day.
[Via Beervana]
Jeff Alworth’s Labor Day post (the third one, if that isn’t obvious) provoked comments on Facebook and Twitter, some of which he then added to his post. Coming up with a formula to determine what is “fair compensation” for a brewer is way too complicated. But were you to attempt something like Blythe Terrell did (second link) but instead were picking a favorite brewery how important would something like fair compensation be?

MORE BEER LINKS

The Crown that Sits Upon Heady Topper.
[Via Good Beer Hunting]t

Character.
[Via Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]

Bar-snackology: What are we munching on?
[Via DRAFT]

WINE

Whole bunch winemaking shakes up Bordeaux.
This feels like when Anheuser-Busch replaced whole hops with pellets. [Via Decanter]

FROM TWITTER

4 Responses to Monday beer links: Yeast family tree, peaches and ‘selling out’

  1. Ed September 12, 2016 at 6:41 am #

    I’ll try you seeing as I didn’t get a reply off Jeff: what’s the difference between head brewer and brew master?

    • Stan Hieronymus September 12, 2016 at 6:47 am #

      Nothing official and often nothing at all. We’re certainly not talking “Diploma Brewmaster” – a title you might earn at VLB in Berlin.

      At a brewery that designates both a brewmaster and head brewer then you get a feel for their organizational chart.

  2. Derrick September 12, 2016 at 10:08 am #

    “Jacob McKean has a rooting interest in the “selling out” story. I’d rather read a well-reported story from somebody without a rooting interest about what has changed at breweries from Goose Island to Devils Backbone since AB-InBev acquired them.”

    Exactly. On the nose.

  3. Velky Al September 12, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    Given that it is early doors with Devils Backbone, from what I have seen so far nothing at all has changed, they are still churning out quality beer, and in their Meadow Bier they have a German style pilsner that would best many coming out of Germany itself.

    It will be interesting to see beers get chosen for national distribution, I would imagine the Vienna Lager is the obvious choice, and perhaps Stripped Bass Pale Ale.

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