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There were no Lagers before Columbus

I had not realized that before the discovery of the “New World” there were no Lagers.

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Yeah I’ve read that nobody can figure it out. I don’t buy on the feet of fruit flies. My theory is beer was being brewed in South America and sailors being sailors probably bought a barrel or two and brought it home and reused the barrels.

The yeast could have been growing on the outside of the barrels as well.

I agree with the barrel theory. The average lifespan of a fruit fly is around 40 days. Interestingly enough, looking at the climate of that area a lot of the mean temps are around 45°-55°, right in the wheelhouse of lager yeast.


True but you could also imagine a whole ship filled with New World fruit and veg like squash, tomatoes, papaya, peppers, the common bean was even a new thing. With that much stuff you could probably extend the life of a colony of fruit flies for a voyage. There were probably a dozen vectors for S. Eubayanus on a ship… I bet there were some crafty home brewers on every voyage as well considering fermented beverages were generally considered safer than water at the time.

There are some interesting experiments were people successfully create the theorized hybrid…
"Here, we generated de novo lager yeast hybrids by mating a domesticated and strongly flocculent Saccharomyces cerevisiae ale strain with the Saccharomyces eubayanus type strain. "

“Here, an allodiploid laboratory hybrid of S. cerevisiae and S. eubayanus was evolved for up to 418 generations on wort under simulated lager-brewing conditions in six independent sequential batch bioreactors.”

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Thank goodness for Lager yeast

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