Newsletter: Yeast Father, it’s exactly like the Godfather, but different

Louis Pasteur, Father of Yeast

While yeast is critical ingredient to the brewing process, for centuries brewers didn’t even realize that it existed. What they did know is that sometimes, in the right conditions, their grain soup would make made beer, and in the wrong conditions, it didn’t. It wasn’t until one particular scientist sat down to figure out why, which of course we talk about in this edition of…

Ask the Brewer

Who are some of the people who have been instrumental in the development of the brewing industry as it exists today?

While we could go on and on about people who have influenced modern brewing, one of the more interesting stories revolves around someone who is famous for other reasons. Louis Pasteur, the scientist credited with discovering pasteurization, was also the father of yeast (well, the science of yeast that is).

Prior to Pasteur’s research, it was believed that beer’s fermentation was spontaneous or in some cases even religious (picture your local clergy coming down and blessing your beer). Pasteur began his research by studying the “diseases” of beer, publishing Études sur la bière, (translation – Studies on Beer), which is celebrated for providing compelling evidence that dispelled spontaneous generation and identified the microbial causes of spoilage in beer.

Interestingly enough, his decision to study beer was based less on it being the logical candidate after research on wine and vinegar, but more about anger towards Germany. After France’s loss to Germany in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, Pasteur hoped that increased knowledge about the science of beer would put France in a position to best the Germans at their own game.

Pasteur’s research into the diseases of wine and beer, and his identification of yeast as the microbe that caused fermentation, fed directly into his germ theory of disease. From there, one thing led to another, and Pasteur goes from pasteurization to canning techniques to modern beer bottling/canning to understanding the importance of sterilization.

Truth be told, Pasteur is a historical rockstar to the brewing industry!

Taproom Tidings

Food options at the taproom this weekend include the Signature on Wheels team on Friday the 26th and on Saturday the 27th the crew from Tatanka Trunk.

The Dry Stout we had hoped to tap this weekend is “not quite ready”, and since we have a strict policy to serve no beer before it’s time, we must be patient and wait.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Cranberry Shandy and Raj-Agni IPA
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills
  • Nutmeg Pear Cupcake from Groundswell, nutmeg cake with fresh pear butter and cream cheese frosting

Final Thoughts

This Friday, February 26th, the Burning Brothers Crew will be at Winterfest here in St. Paul. This celebration of Minnesota Craft Beer is held at the Union Depot, and tickets are still available. Check out the write up in the Pioneer Press about our Cranberry Shandy.

On Saturday, February 27th, Dane and Andrew will be at the Grand MN Taste Together at Grand Casino Hinckley. This is a chance to sample delicious craft-beer and participate in a fund-raiser that supports the Twin Ports Miracle League, an organization that provides opportunities for children with disabilities to play baseball, regardless of ability.

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.