UW Students, Wisconsin Brewing Company join forces to create unique Wild Lager brew

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VERONA (WKOW) — Wisconsin Brewing Company, Heineken and UW-Madison students are collaborating to brew a special beer never before brewed in North America.

In 2011, in the remote forests of Patagonia, Argentina, UW Professor of Genetics Chris Todd Hittinger helped discover and identify one of the parents of the modern lager yeast, Saccharomyces eubayanus.  The yeast is known for helping make Wild Lager beers.

A few years later, Hittinger’s lab found S. eubayanus for the first time in North America at Indian Mound Park, near Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Because of Heineken’s experience with the yeast, and their relationship with the University of Wisconsin through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), they have been assisting Wisconsin Brewing Company and Campus Craft Brewery by sharing their experience in working with this wild yeast species.

Now, students are brewing at Wisconsin Brewing Company, with support from Heineken, with the goal of creating the first Wild Lager brewed in North America. Students who are involved with the project say they’re excited about the unique experience.

“Typically with brewing, they use a strain of yeast that you know how it reacts,” said UW-Madison Junior Caroline Miller. “I think this strain will do really cool things. There’s going to be a really robust flavor profile.”

The students say if it doesn’t taste great on the first try, they’ll keep experimenting.

Emily Friese

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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