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Beard Yeast Beer

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The recent flood of research and news articles on the human microbiome have established the microecology of the human body as an important new field. Of the 15-18 body parts sampled to collect microbes for sequencing, one was notably missing: the beard.

The Beardome project by Hydrocalypse Industries that I was part of a few years ago began to uncover some of the hidden microbiology of the beard:

While this was mostly tongue-in-(bearded)-cheek, it looks like the beard can actually be home to useful microbes. The microbrewery Rogue Ales is starting production on a new beer, brewed with a yeast found in the beard of their brewmaster. I’m really interested in the connections between the microbes on our body and the practical microbes used in our food, particularly in cheese, and this brings it to a whole new level. Beardology is a very new field, perhaps this beer will inspire us to look deeper at what is lying beneath our beards.

Christina Agapakis About the Author: Christina Agapakis is a biological designer who blogs about biology, engineering, engineering biology, and biologically inspired engineering. Follow on Twitter @thisischristina.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. rab2411 3:34 pm 06/22/2012

    It is unfortunate that Ms Agapakis did not note that Rogue Ales (produced by the Rogue Brewery) is located in the center of American microbrewerydom – Oregon!! I invite you to visit and feast your eyes on others of their offerings (Bacon Maple Ale, anyone?!?!).

    And, no, I have no proprietary interest in Rogue Brewery. I just like Oregon beers in all their multiplicty of styles and flavors.


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  2. 2. Christina Agapakis in reply to Christina Agapakis 4:53 pm 06/22/2012

    Thanks bob! I will definitely be researching more into Oregon microbrewerydom!

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