Would you like a bumblebee beer?
Bugs and beer: most of us probably don't see a connection beyond shooing flies away from our pint glasses. But for a group of North Carolina State University scientists, bugs may hold the secret to making new, surprising and delicious beers.
That's because yeasts —the single-celled fungi responsible for converting sugar to alcohol in fermented foods like beer and wine — are likely to be found on arthropods like bees, wasps, hornets and beetles, said Anne Madden, a part-time post-doctoral researcher.
If these yeasts could be isolated from bugs and successfully cultivated in the lab, she and professors Rob Dunn and John Sheppard mused, maybe they could be used to brew new kinds of beer.
And they did!
The university team debuted its wasp-derived beer at the World Beer Festival in Raleigh, and then poured their followup, a beer brewed from bumblebee yeast and named "Bumblebeer," at the 2014 Wake County Brewers Expo.
Maybe we should bring it to CBK, would you buy it?