Breweries have been known to gather wild yeast strains from the city they call home; leaving petri dishes out to capture strains from the open city air and then cultivating the yeast to see what happens. It is a bit unique and might have some strange results, but it has nothing on Rogue’s recent methods.
All in the name of fun, the crew at Rogue thought it would be humorous to send a few strands of hair from brewmaster John Maier’s beard to renowned yeast lab, White Labs, for testing. Nice follicles were carefully cut and placed in a petri dish and sent off. Maybe not extremely shocking, as John does spend a lot of his time in a brewery, but a usable strain of yeast was found in his beard. One would obviously assume that some of Rogue’s yeast got into his beard and it just happened to be coincidental that it was attached to the follicles sent out for testing, but the crazy part is that it wasn’t even a yeast strain used by the brewery. John Maier’s beard had somehow become home to a unique strain that just happened to be perfect for brewing beer.
Having continuously grown his beard since 1978, it was only a matter of time before it became a part of the brewing process as well. The yeast strain is currently going through a testing phase to determine what type of beer would be ideal for brew, and in early 2013, “New Crustacean” will be released and everyone will be able to enjoy one of the most famous beards in the beer industry.