Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Fossil Fuels Beer

Pint glasses full of Fossil Fuels Beer are raising
eyebrows around northern California. This could be due to the fact that the
unique ingredient for the line of Fossil Fuels beer is a yeast strain dating
back to the Eocene Epoch, which is about 45 million years ago. A team of
scientists, Dr. Raul Cano (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA) and Lewis “Chip”
Lambert (Fremont, CA), are partnering with brew master Joe Kelley (Kelley Bros.
Brewing, Manteca, CA) and attorney Scott Bonzell (Oakland, CA) to produce what
is surely one of the most interesting and unique beers of this or any time.
With the green light from beer critics, brewers and end consumers alike, the
team that comprises Fossil Fuels Brewing Co. is gearing up to share the product
with the public.
The history of the yeast literally dates back before
the dawn of man, to a time when the earth was warm, tropical and teeming with
life. Modern mammals that we see today were beginning to appear in what is
known as the Eocene epoch (from the Greek word eos meaning “dawn”). During this
time, a snapshot of biological life was trapped by tropical tree sap. Over the
course of millions of years, the sap hardened into amber, which preserved and
protected its contents. That is, until Dr. Cano, using amber obtained from
locations around the world (including Burma, Central and North America),
isolated and revived a bacterium, which had lain dormant in the gut of an
encased bee for approximately 40 million years (Science 268, pp. 1060-1064,
1995). During his research, Dr. Cano, periodically working with Mr. Lambert,
isolated a few yeast strains that resembled modern Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In
other words, they are similar to the yeast we use every day for brewing and
baking, except the newly discovered yeasts were much further back in the
evolutionary chain. Essentially, Dr. Cano isolated the long lost ancestors of
modern brewing yeast.
Fossil Fuels Brewing Co. hosted a launch party at
Kelly Brothers Brewing Co. in the summer of 2008 to commence the release of
their new beer brewed with its truly remarkable yeast to the public.

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