Beer brewed from prehistoric whale fossil

26th March, 2014 by Lauren Eads

Yeast found on the 35 million-year-old remains of a prehistoric whale is the latest bizarre ingredient to be used to brew beer in an effort to engage people with science.

Fossils in the Osaka Museum of Natural History.

Whale fossils in the Osaka Museum of Natural History

The Lost Rhino Brewing Company, together with Paleo Quest, a non-profit dedicated to advancing palaeontology and geology, have created Bone Dusters Paleo Ale; a beer made from yeast found on a prehistoric whale fossil, according to a report in Scientific American.

Jason Osborne, co-founder of Paleo Quest, came up with the idea of combining palaeontology with beer in an attempt to engage the public in conversations about science teaming up with the Virginia-based brewery to embark on a prehistoric beer brewing experiment.

Knowing that yeast, the organism responsible for turning sugar into alcohol, is everywhere, Osborne and brewer Jasper Akerboom started swabbing prehistoric whale fossils to grow samples of yeast to use in their brew.

Their experiment led the discovery a new subspecies of a yeast already known to breweries: Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

The new variant has been named Saccharomyces cerevisiae var protocetus, after the protocetid whale fossil it was swabbed from.

Bone Dusters Paleo Ale will be available on tap at the Lost Rhino Brewing Company in Ashburn, Virginia.

A percentage of the proceeds from sales will go toward funding science equipment for underprivileged schools.

Earlier this week a Philadelphia brewery released a new American pale stout infused with smoked goat brains in tribute to the hit US TV show, The Walking Dead.

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