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Monday, March 30, 2009

Beer Brewed from 45 Million Year Old yeast

Picture this. You’re a paleontologist who has devoted his life to the study of really, really old bugs. One fine day, you find the preserved remains of an insect from like a gazillion years ago. Now what do you do? Well, if you Professor Raul Cano of the California Polytechnic State University, you use the rare and prized fossil to reactivate some ancient yeast and brew yourself some really funny tasting beer of course!

Amazing as the story, the good scientist took a tiny colony of yeast trapped inside a Lebanese weevil covered in ancient Burmese amber for up to 45 million years, brought back it life and used the reactivated yeast to brew barrels of pale ale and German wheat beer. What’s even more astonishing is that the scientist actually offered the brew to reviewers who discovered that the beer had “a weird spiciness at the finish” thanks to ancient yeast’s unique metabolism.

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