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New Crustacean? A beer made with yeast from John Maier’s beard?

John Maier, beard beerI looked at the calendar. It says we are nowhere near April 1. So I pass along this information from Rogue Wire Service. I hope that I don’t arrive in the Northwest tomorrow to be told I’ve fallen for a hoax.

The press release says that Rogue Ales collected three samples from the brewery’s hop yard north of Corvallis and sent them to White Labs in San Diego. None of them provided a yeast strain suitable for brewing.

As a joke, nine beard follicles from brewmaster John Maier’s beard were next sent for testing. They produced a yeast perfect for use in brewing. White conducted more tests to make sure it wasn’t Rogue’s “Pac Man” yeast, some of which obviously could have ended up on Maier’s beard. Nope.

So the beard yeast is currently being used in test batches to determine a style it will work best in. Once that is settled Maier will brew New Crustacean (Rogue’s barleywine is called Old Crustacean) for release in 2013.

Oh, and the press release also says that when Maier learned about the discovery he said, “It was in front of me the whole time and it only took two centuries and five decades to grow.”

Update: John Maier, who seems to have become a regular at the National Homebrew Conference, confirmed that he really is at work on a beer brewed with yeast harvested (if that is the right word) from his beard.

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5 Responses to New Crustacean? A beer made with yeast from John Maier’s beard?

  1. The Professor June 21, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Lately, brewing has acquired such an emphasis on gimmickry that this doesn’t surprise me.
    The concept of beard cootie yeast is bizarre enough…what I’ll be curious to see is is how they can spin this to actually make it sound appealing.

  2. Steve June 22, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    “…what I’ll be curious to see is is how they can spin this to actually make it sound appealing.”

    As much as I agree with your comments, I point to the popularity of Moose Drool. Then again, I’m pretty sure there’s no authentic moose drool as part of the ingredients in that beer! ;)

  3. Bill June 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    OK, so they’re going to test the yeast to see what styles it’ll be suitable for. Then he’s brewing barleywine — is that a non sequitur, or are they using said yeast for New Crustacean regardless of whether its suitable?

    • Stan Hieronymus June 28, 2012 at 4:31 am #

      Bill – I think we’ll have to wait and see how the process goes. Hope there will be more details as it proceeds.

  4. Steve June 28, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    “Hope there will be more details as it proceeds.”

    Really? I think there’s been far too much information already! :D

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