As the craft beer market gets more and more crowded, brewers have to pull all sorts of hijinks to stand out from the pack—throwing Mangalitsa pigs heads into the boil, for example, or fermenting with yeast harvested from a dude’s beard.
Now, Virginia’s Lost Rhino Brewing Company has upped the ante with their newest product, Bone Dusters Paleo Ale, which is brewed with yeast from fossilized whale bones.
The project is a collaboration between Jason Osborne, founder of Paleo Quest—a non-profit dedicated to advancing paleontology and geology—and Lost Rhino’s Jasper Akerboom.
Osborne wanted to catch the public’s attention, making paleontology a buzzword, reports Scientific American. Realizing that yeast was most likely present in fossils, he and Akerboom (who has a degree in microbiology) set out to make beer with fossil yeast. Using a whale fossil from a previous Paleo Quest dig, the pair began to experiment.
Osborne and Akerboom discovered a new variant of brewer’s yeast, which they called Saccharomyces cerevisiae var protocetus.
This isn’t the first time a crafty brewer has tried to extract yeast from a (once) living creature. Last year at Eataly’s Birreria, a brew called Calabrona was served that contained yeast from a wasp.
The Paleo Ale should be out very soon, and Lost Rhino has plans to serve it at their taproom in Ashburn, according to Scientific American. There are about 650 gallons in the initial batch of Paleo Ale, so go cop a pint while you still can.
Proceeds from the beer sales will be put towards a fund for scientific equipment in underfunded schools.
[via Scientific American]