With the talk of shifting hop regions and the continued rise of local maltsters, let us not forget yeast. The miraculous microbe lives all around us but unless we’re talking about coolship ales, there is not much of a focus on brewing with local yeasts.
Several years ago Bootleg Biology in Nashville, TN launched its Local Yeast Project and touted itself as the “first organization to pioneer the collection and cultivation of official local yeast strains for every U.S. postal code and country across the globe, beginning with the original S. Arlingtonesis™.”
Finding and isolating and then using a local yeast strain – one in immediate proximity to a brewery – adds an unrivaled dimension to a beer. Beer Edge Editor John Holl spoke with Jeff Mello the Chief Yeast Wrangler of Bootleg Biology about the project and its benefits.