If you’re a fan of Pils, Vienna, Oktoberfest, Helles, Marzen, Bock and other varieties of Lager beer; you may be drinking an accident. A recently released study indicates that lager may have been the result of a contaminated batch of wheat beer. This lucky mistake occurred in Schwarzach, a small town in South Bavaria at the start of the 1600’s. Lager uses Saccharomyces Pastorianus, a different yeast than ales. The clue as to how this came about was when Saccharomyces Eubanus was discovered in the Patagonian Andes of Argentina during 2011. Researchers were nearly immediately determined to discover why it has such Lager-like characteristics and used a combination of historical documents, evolutionary data, and genetic mapping to determine the exact origin. Simplified, it all began when some of the wheat beer yeast used in Schwarzach was transported to a Munich Brewery owned by Maximillian the Great in 1602; there, its exposure to some recently arrived Eubanus (Europeans first traveled to Argentina in the early 1500’s) resulted in an inadvertent hybridization to yield the Pastorianus strain used today. It’s kind of amazing to think how Lager makes up 90% of world beer sales and it all started with an accident.

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Copyright Gregg Smith – His book “American Beer History” is available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/American-Beer-History-Mayflower-Microbreweries/dp/108155410X/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=American+Beer+History&qid=1625503750&sr=8-2