Rogue Ales, a brewery and pub based in Oregon, is brewing an ale made out of yeast harvested from the beard of award-winning brewmaster John Maier. According to the Huffington Post, brewery employees took nine follicles from Maier’s beard, which Maier says has not been shaved since 1978.
Maier, Rogue Ales’ brewmaster, has brewed over 100,000 pints of Rogue Ale and his ales have won over 500 awards for taste and excellence.
It started initially as a joke. According to KPTV, they tried to harvest new yeast strains from hops from their hop yard, but nothing developed. As a bit of a joke, they looked to the unusual source.
“Hey, why not look for a different place that might have some magic yeast in it,” Brett Joyce, president of Rogue Ales, told the TV station.
“We had our lab guy take a couple of swabs, by putting a q-tip in (my beard), or taking a clip off,” Maier recalled. “I don’t know what I thought about it.”
Nine beard follicles were carefully cut from the Maier’s beard and after some testing, they found a yeast cell. The final version of beard beer will be launched in early 2013 and will be called “New Crustacean.”