News / Science & Technology

Brewer Mixes Loves of Paleontology, Microbiology, Beer

Brewer Combines Loves of Paleontology, Beeri
X
June Soh
June 25, 2014 10:20 AM
There may not seem to be much of connection between paleontology and beer. But a brewery in the Washington suburbs would not agree. The brewers teamed up with a microbiologist and a paleontologist to create a beer with an unusual ingredient: yeast from a millions-year-old fossil. VOA’s June Soh reports they hope the beer will get drinkers talking about science.
June Soh

A large batch of new and rather unorthodox beer is brewing at Lost Rhino Brewing Co. in Ashburn, Virginia.   

The beer yeast, one of the key ingredients in brewing, was swabbed from a 35 million-year-old fossilized whale bone.

Amateur paleontologist Jason Osborne found the bone at a swamp in Virginia.

"So the idea was conceived, it was basically a brainchild idea of mine to mix molecular biology, paleontology, and beer together,” Osborne said. “It's three things that I love.”

Osborne enlisted his microbiologist friend Jasper Akerboom, who works as a brewing scientist at Lost Rhino.  

Yeast from whale bone

Akerboom said he was initially skeptical but decided to experiment.

“We took out 20 samples from all kinds of fossilized materials. This was all done in Calvert Marine Museum in Maryland. And one of the samples started to ferment,” Akerboom said.

The result was surprising.

 “It tastes very good. It tastes very fruity, very earthy. It is very dry,” he said.

So the decision was made to brew a large volume for consumers: this time about 2,300 liters.  

 “The craft brewing in the United States has been very innovative, new beers have been hitting the markets continuously. People kind of expect something new all the time,” Akerboom said.

The co-owner of Lost Rhino, Favio Garcia, said they stay sharp and edgy by bringing out a new style of beer every couple of weeks.

“Well, we have 16 beers on tap right now. You have to take a risk to move forward. So it is a calculated risk,” Garcia said. “But we are happy to take it and create something new and interesting with it.”

The new beer is called Bone Dusters Paleo Ale.

“When people are cleaning the fossils, they dust the sand off the bone,” Akerboom said. “And we thought it would be a cool name to give it.”

Paleontology nonprofit

Osborne, who co-founded Paleo Quest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing paleontology, hopes the beer will get beer drinkers talking about science.

“Paleontology is really important to the general public because it is good to know what existed prior to us. It also teaches us a lot about evolution, or it teaches us about climate change,” he said.

After a month of fermentation, the beer made its public debut at Lost Rhino’s taproom in Ashburn.

Customer Billy Ozark said, "It is fantastic. It is a pretty courageous move to strike that yeast and kind of develop some[thing] unique.”

Natalie Ozark said, "I am not usually a yeasty, hoppy beer drinker. But it is really good.”

"It is not over hopped, there is not much competing with yeast for flavor,” said Stan Beyer, another customer. “So it really comes through. It is very drinkable."

Garcia hopes innovations like this will help Lost Rhino compete in the growing local beer movement.  

A portion of the proceeds from Bone Dusters will be used for science programs at underprivileged schools.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John
June 25, 2014 8:21 PM
Well, I do like a beer. I wonder what it'd taste like?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid