Oregon brewery uses beard yeast for new ale

September 27, 2012 3:42:34 AM PDT
Finding a hair in a drink would gross out most people, but an Oregon beer maker says that's what's supposed to happen with his new brew.

John Maier is an award-winning brewmaster.

He and Rogue Ales Brewery Company president Brett Joyce were looking for a new source of yeast for a new brew.

Now, Maier's "Dead Guy Ale" has a special ingredient - his beard.

Maier is mixing in wild yeast harvested from his whiskers. And he has hair to spare, since he hasn't shaved since 1978.

As a joke, their lab guy took a swab from Maier's beard and found the yeast. Now, the beard beer is fermenting in one of their tanks, with the occasional taste test.

Both men see no reason for beer lovers to be grossed out.

"You're really not drinking a beard," Joyce said. "You're drinking a great beer that happens to have yeast that comes from a beard."

Maier brews 10 beers at the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport, but he says the shaggy suds are his most popular.

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