I 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.