|Who knew geology was |
The gist of the article from The Geology New Blog is about how, twenty years ago, Dr, Raoul Cano, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo scientist was attempting to extract bacteria from a weevil encased in ancient amber in hopes of discovering new—well actually, really old—strains to be used in new antibiotics.
We know hat happens next, right? They clone the weevil and it—and its progeny—run amok on a tropical island.
No, not exactly.
What actually happen was, that Dr. Cano's experiment failed—no usable antibiotic bacteria. The good doctor, then shelved his experiment for almost twenty years. In 2008, Cano re-opened his collection and realized that while the gut of those weevils didn't have what he was looking for back in 1993, they did have microscopic yeast spores. Yeast that had been dormant since the Eocene.
Eocene? What's that?
Not what, when—between 34 to 55 million years ago, in fact. The amber dates to about 45 million years old. That's 20 million years years after T-Rex was doing its thing but 44,800,000 years before you and I even thought about tipping our first pint. All said and done, the yeast isn't as old as the dinosaurs, buy waaaaaay older than us.
I think you might be able to see where this is going.
Cano did indeed begin brewing beer with his newly re-discovered yeast. At first in a collaboration with the Sumptown Brewery in Guerneville, California, and later forming Fossil Fuels Brewing Company, distributing a Wheat and a Pale Ale—with what is reported to have a decidedly, unique clove-like flavor—to pubs and bars through out Northern California.