Most brewers will joke that in reality they work for the yeast – that their job is to feed it and keep it happy. This organism from the fungi class of flora is found in biofuels, baking, the wine industry, and of course brewing. It is everywhere – in the air, in the soil, on your skin.
What is yeast, and how does yeast make alcohol? Humans have been mucking around with the stuff for around 5,000 years to get a buzz on.
We’ve talked about beers brewed with wild yeasts before, of the great sour beers that come out Belgium during the colder months that have been fermented by naturally occurring yeasts (like brettanomyces) living in and around the breweries.
This was the way that all beers were made before old mate Pasteur investigated microbiology.