If Zach Galifianakis is ever hard-pressed for work in the comedy world, he need not fret. There is ample employment to be had right on his own face by harvesting his own "beard yeast" for beer. What is "beard yeast," you ask?
Beer Brewing 101 is that beer is made from yeast, hops, and other ingrediants. Knowing that yeast is found on living organisms from animals to vegetables, brewmaster John Maier, of Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon, plucked nine hairs out of his own beard. (Side note: he had not shaved said beard in 34 years.) Off to a California lab went the beard hairs to see if the yeast was usable for brewing.
He was in luck! To quote The Scientist:
Brewers yeast, mostly in the Saccharomyces genus, looks like creamy white, shiny circles, and when scooped has the consistency of butter. Then researchers cultured the yeast to see if it would actively ferment. The beard hair’s yeast surprisingly performed like a hybrid between the brewery’s “house” yeast strain, called Pacman yeast—which is used to make most Rogue Ales—and a wild yeast.
As gross as this all sounds, the resulting brew supposedly tasted quite yummy. The Scientist reports the beer had "a mild, fruity aroma and lacked any harsh, medicinal flavors that sometimes result from using wild yeast." Everyone was apparently so surprised that the beer tasted as good as it did that the lab doublechecked to make sure they had used the right yeast.
Homebrew and beer nerds will want to read the whole story over at The Scientist. But don’t get any ideas, Brooklyn.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.