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Argentina provides 'missing link' in lager brewing

Argentina provides 'missing link' in lager brewing

Although known for its high quality red wine; it seems another popular tipple owes much to Argentina… Lager.

Scientists have just discovered a new species of yeast in the forests of Patagonia, a region located in Argentina and Chile. This yeast is believed to be the “missing link” in lager-brewing.

Until now it was known that lager beers were made from a hybrid yeast; half of its genes coming from ale yeast and the other coming from an unknown species. The new Argentine discovery is 99.5% identical to this missing half of the lager genome.

As apposed to ale, lager is brewed more slowly and at lower temperatures. This method is understood to have been discovered when Bavarian brewers started storing their beer in caves.

Although we are not yet sure of how the species of yeast travelled the 7,000 miles to Bavaria, it is supposed that it was via a stowaway fruit fly across the Atlantic.

"The possible man-aided migration from South America to Europe is indeed uncommon, but not unique," commented Jose Paula Sampaio, a leader of the study from the New University of Lisbon in Portugal.

The discovery is published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences at the following link.

Added on 1 September
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