NEWPORT, Ore. -
Many have a love affair with craft beers that drives them to push the boundaries of existing ingredients. But a brewery in Oregon may be taking its innovation a little far after it announced that its new beer is made from yeast developed from the brewmaster's beard.
Rogue Ales brewery announced in June that Brewmaster John Maier had discovered a wild yeast that was developed from follicles from his old-growth beard -- a beard he's been continuously growing since 1978 -- and that White Labs confirmed that the yeast strain was perfect for use in brewing.
"It was in front of me the whole time, and it only took two centuries and five decades to grow," Maier said.
Since that time, the brewery said it has been testing the beard yeast in different brew combinations to determine the perfect style and yeast combination.
The result will be the first ever "beard beer" known as "New Crustacean," which Rogue Brewery said will be fine-tuned and released in early 2013.
Brett Joyce, president of Rogue Ales, told KPTV that the whole thing started as a joke about finding different places that might have some magic yeast in them.
"You're not really drinking a beard. You're drinking a great beer that happens to have yeast that comes from a beard," Joyce told the TV station.
Maier said he has tasted samples of the new brew, and that to him, it "Tastes like it's got some spices in it."
According to the company, the brewmaster has been traveling and making personal appearances to promote the new beer on John Maier’s Beard Tour, as well as on the Beard Bike Tour he's been participating in around the country.
When it's not being worshiped for its contributions to follicle-enhanced beverages, the company said Maier’s beard is on display as part of his regular brewery/distillery tours -- just try not to touch it.