Monday, 14 April 2014 | buzz
About 500 years ago, monks in Bavaria started making a new kind of beer. Light, frothy, and dependent on cold temperatures for its fermentation, it became known as lager, and quickly became the most popular style of beer in the world. The German monks didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out that the strain of yeast they hybridized to produce their lager had traveled all the way from Patagonia, in South America. University of Wisconsin Geneticist Chris Todd Hitinger specializes in yeast and the biology of fermentation, and recently traced the genetic history of Bavarian yeast.