Lager Is About to Get a Lot More Interesting

Scientists report success with new hybrid strains
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2015 12:36 PM CDT
Lager Is About to Get a Lot More Interesting

Unlike its trendy cousins favored by craft brewers, lager hasn't changed much over the centuries, notes a post at Scientific American. In fact, "lagers are boring," it declares. That looks set to change, however, thanks to researchers in Finland. They report in the Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology the first creation of hybrid lager yeast strains that should open up a whole new world of flavors for the humble drink. “You can now produce lager yeasts that are very different from one another,” says Brian Gibson of the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland.

For eons, brewers have made lager with a yeast species called Saccharomyces pastorianus, a hybrid of two other species, explains a post at Scientists have long known that one was Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but they didn't find the second, Saccharomyces eubayanu, until a few years ago. "Once eubayanus was discovered, things suddenly became very interesting,” says Gibson. The discovery has culminated in the vibrant new flavors—including one that's like a Belgian wheat beer—and unnamed breweries are now working on new lagers. (See why Anheuser-Busch might owe you $50.)

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