BERLIN: Using next-generation sequencing techniques, scientists have traced the origin of the yeast used in making the most popular lager all the way back to 15th century Bavaria in Germany.
The beer world is divided into ales and lagers. The original and highly versatile yeast, Saccharromyces cerevisiae, has been used for millennium to make ales, wine and bread. But the second great beer innovation was the lager during the 15th century , when Bavarians first noticed that beer stored in caves during winter continued to ferment, researchers said.
The result was a lighter and smoother beer that, after [the Bavarians shared] it with neighbouring Bohemians, went on to dominate the 19th and 20th century, especially in America.
Lager yeasts are hybrid strains, made of two different yeast species, S cerevisiae and S eubayanus, which was discovered in 2011. Lagers now represent a whopping 94% of the world beer market.
The findings show that domestication for beer making has placed yeast on similar evolutionary trajectories multiple times.
Yuppers, beer has saved the world more than once.