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Origins of Lager Found In Argentina

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the a-yeast-of-a-different-color dept.

Beer 77

utkonos writes "After decades of pondering, scientists have found the secret to the creation of lager. An elusive species of yeast isolated in the forests of Argentina was key to the invention of the crisp-tasting German beer. From the article: 'Their best bet is that centuries ago, S. eubayanus somehow found its way to Europe and hybridized with the domestic yeast used to brew ale, creating an organism that can ferment at the lower temperatures used to make lager. Geneticists have known since the 1980s that the yeast brewers use to make lager, S. pastorianus, was a hybrid of two yeast species: S. cerevisiae — used to make ales, wine and bread — and some other, unidentified organism.'"

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77 comments

Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181240)

Their best bet is that centuries ago, S. eubayanus somehow found its way to Europe

How do they know it wasn't the other way around? Maybe we Europeans brought it as a gift to our New World brothers.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181354)

I don't think anyone would appreciate a european gift of special brew [drinksdirect.co.uk] .
Q.E.D. It was the other way around.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181396)

Your proposal has been rejected for not being quaint enough.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37185144)

Beer? Take that piss away. Bottom fermented, for the bottom-feeder, I say!

There's nothing like an Ale - free of that hoppy contamination, rich dark and malty.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181516)

Lots of Nazi's left Germany for Argentina after WWII.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181560)

Really....Wow, OK...
"centuries ago, S. eubayanus somehow found its way to Europe..." And when do you think WWI happened, exactly?

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181602)

I think you underestimate just how insidious the Nazis of WWI were.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181762)

yeah there's a documentary on this, it's called "Hellboy"

google it

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183292)

ZOMG! Nazi time travel! They could be ANYWHERE! Shoot all the things!

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37184032)

Sounds like something a Nazi would say...hmmm.....

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37193168)

I deny that scattergorically and I am unanimous in this opinion.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183746)

What I was suggesting is maybe the yeast is from Germany and the Nazis that left brought their yeasts for beer making to Argentina and they got released into the wild.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183936)

If the mystery yeast was from Germany, they probably would have found it in Germany.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

abuelos84 (1340505) | more than 2 years ago | (#37188734)

You know, there already were a lot of germans (amongst many many many others) around here long before those (few, not like hundreds and hundreds...) nazis came along.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

SynthaxError (1417629) | more than 2 years ago | (#37189380)

I think the GP tried a joke with word "Lager" which can mean in German "Camp" like in "Konzentration Lager".

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181890)

Yeah, and they went back in time. And you thought that base on the south pole and the moon were already something...

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37186884)

That's no moon, it's a Nazi Space Station! I hate Nazis...

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37183544)

yes we are quite proud of that :)

and plurals don't need the apostrophe. I know they're cheap, but why waste them.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37184910)

Those were the ones getting out through ODESSA; the ones going through Operation Paperclip went to the USA.

That being said, it's a good thing the yeast got out first so we all get to enjoy a nice cold beer instead of that piss-warm stuff the British drink... (-1 flamebait).

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37195550)

Lots of Germans moved to Argentina in the 19th Century to build railroads. They didn't like living in the jungle or on the plains, so they moved to the mountains and Italians came to Argentina to build the railroads.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183118)

Their best bet is that centuries ago, S. eubayanus somehow found its way to Europe

How do they know it wasn't the other way around? Maybe we Europeans brought it as a gift to our New World brothers.

You're probably right, I bet it was time traveling Nazis on a quest to hide their ill gotten gold.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183634)

How do they know it wasn't the other way around?

The instructions on the packet were in Spanish.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37184102)

Aha, conclusive evidence that it did come from Europe then.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183768)

How do they know it wasn't the other way around? Maybe we Europeans brought it as a gift to our New World brothers.

Later, a more effective microbe known as "smallpox" was used, with much better intended results ;)

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (2)

lahvak (69490) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183868)

It seems that that particular species of yeast does not appear in Europe. Only its hybrids do. So while it is possible that the yeast first traveled to Argentina, and then became extinct in Europe, it seems more likely that it originated at the place where it still can be found.

Re:Maybe the conquistadors brought it WITH them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37185630)

Well, Nikolaus Federmann certainly did. But you're right, the article's reasoning is weak. There is no evidence that eubayanus originated in South America. There were certainly beeches in Europe, and I doubt the galls they found are 600 years old. That indigenous people use it is no evidence either, their civilization isn't frozen in time.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181254)

prefer pilsner myself...

Re:Meh (4, Funny)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181376)

pilsner is a type of lager.

Re:Meh (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183988)

This would have made sense if you'd typed, "prefer ale myself..."

Unidentified? It should be obvious! (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181268)

Geneticists have known since the 1980s that the yeast brewers use to make lager, S. pastorianus, was a hybrid of two yeast species: S. cerevisiae â" used to make ales, wine and bread â" and some other, unidentified organism.'"

- Chuck Norris is not just some unidentified organism, he alone brings the fine essence of power to wines and ales.

Re:Unidentified? It should be obvious! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181494)

No, the real story here is that Bruce Schneier went back in time and encoded the secrets to human happiness on this obscure species genetic code using advanced steganography. The effects of beer are proof of his contribution.

Re:Unidentified? It should be obvious! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181922)

Considering how I always feel much smarter than Bruce when I had enough beer, I guess you might be right.

Re:Unidentified? It should be obvious! (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37182836)

The year 2000 called it would like it's meme back.

Re:Unidentified? It should be obvious! (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37182916)

Did you warn them about 9/11?

March called me and wanted it's comic back too. Told them that Piers Morgan was going to be on the Apprentice, they didn't believe me... Fools!

Re:Unidentified? It should be obvious! (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183142)

1998 called. It would like its meme about wanting memes back, back.

Talk about a good reason for biodiversity (2)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181370)

Maybe if the average beer drinker knew that his brew was made possible by a rare yeast found in an obscure gall plant found in Patagonia he'd be more supportive of conservation efforts!

Then again he'd probably just change the channel from the Discovery channel to ESPN.

Re:Talk about a good reason for biodiversity (2)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183416)

As a Beer drinker myself I resent the fact that you think we don't appreciate biodiversity. Beer has been helping people increase the biodiversity of their offspring for centuries. It's come close to helping me increase mine at least a couple times.

Re:Talk about a good reason for biodiversity (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183908)

BBC Article [bbc.co.uk]

Having said that, the 45 million year old yeast [wired.com] was a much more interesting discovery (Wired's article includes info on how to extract it from amber) but it hasn't really spawned much of an interest in paleantology. Damn shame.

Re:Talk about a good reason for biodiversity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37184878)

Most Americans still wouldnt care, they are happy to drink nat's piss in a bottle.

how did this yeast come to Schwechat, Austria? (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181380)

where the lager beer was invented in the brewery of Anton Dreher.

Re:how did this yeast come to Schwechat, Austria? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181568)

where the lager beer was invented in the brewery of Anton Dreher.

Vikings. I'm only half way joking.

Re:how did this yeast come to Schwechat, Austria? (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37182610)

In particular, this Viking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1nzEFMjkI4 [youtube.com]

Re:how did this yeast come to Schwechat, Austria? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183924)

Nonono, this Viking, surely! [youtube.com]

Re:how did this yeast come to Schwechat, Austria? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181798)

where the lager beer was invented in the brewery of Anton Dreher.

No, actually Anton Dreher invented the PALE lager in 1840, "he introduced a beer that combined the crispness of lager with the paler hues of the English ale; this new style of beer became known as the Viennese style, and was called the Schwechater Lagerbier ("Schwechat Lager Beer")."

LAGER was invented/discovered waaaaay earlier, "While cold storage of beer, "lagering," in caves for example, was a common practice throughout the medieval period, bottom-fermenting yeast seems to have emerged as a hybridization in the early 1400s"

Re:how did this yeast come to Schwechat, Austria? (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183758)

U Fleku in the Czech Republic has been making the same "dark lager" in the same place for something like 500 years in Prague. So yes, lager does predate the 1800s by quite a bit.

I'm not sure when the first lager was brewed, but given the timeline someone (Vikings?) must have brought back the yeast. Good thing they didn't wash really well, eh?

Re:how did this yeast come to Schwechat, Austria? (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#37185268)

> I'm not sure when the first lager was brewed

Clearly before 1487, when the idea of a beer purity law was first mooted (according to Mr Wikipedia at Reinheitsgebot [wikipedia.org] ). So if it genuinely originated in S. America, someone must have brought it over (or back).

--

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it had bloody well better be a duck, or there'll be trouble.

elusive (1)

benthurston27 (1220268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181398)

I hate when yeast are being all elusive making scientists search for decades like that.

earthquake (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181402)

Dude was there just an earthquake in the nyc region? My building just swayed back and forth for no apparent reason.

Re:earthquake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181508)

Huh, my desk here in central Pa shook a bit a few minutes ago.

Re:earthquake (1)

Paladin114 (2438004) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181524)

shocks felt in Annapolis, MD.

Re:earthquake (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181570)

felt it all the way up here in Boston.

pretty gentle here though

Re:earthquake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181656)

no it was not in they NYC region though you might have felt it. and news flash for ya chief, there are other places on the east coast besides nyc.

Re:earthquake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37186696)

Wow... first response and it's a scored -1 post. Somebody wasted a mod point just to tell people that this was off-topic before its topic existed?

Be my fucking guest.

S. eubayanus: Argentinian for Beer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181422)

Guess we need a new commercial...

Argentine-German connection (1)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181478)

Now we see that the "special relationship" between Argentina and Germany has been established for quite a bit longer than we thought.

Re:Argentine-German connection (1)

Ranger (1783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183990)

Yup. At least this is a good one. First it was Nazis, then it was the most complete copy of Metropolis found and now lager yeast.

Pictured: llao-llaos, not galls. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181688)

The picture in the LATimes article appears to show the parasitic fungus Cyttaria darwinii, known locally as llao-llao. I don't believe the growth can be properly called a "gall" unless it consists of tissues of the host tree -- but I believe llao-llaos are fungal tissue, not plant tissue.

origins of hymenology remain undiscussed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181726)

so what's the flap all about anyway? where are the monkeys' hymens? deities deny involvement? just more sci-fi horror history unraveling. on to mebotah.

just in time? by 2025 anyway. the new atmostfearink neogod mandated oxygen rationing system will be tested on the totally submerged population living down under southern hillary, in the 3X6 citizen bunkers. the real oxygen supply will not be wasted on the southern hillarians, as they are used to a lot of hot air, & have consented to breath the untested synthetic oxygen, developed in an unproven manner, at a secret location. no problems are expected.

the hillarians still must (they have the new pay-per-flush toilets) believe that the crown royals will be victorious, & that they will be unsubmerged, to join us all, in the former state of utah, come hell or even higher water.

the sociopath weapons peddlers remain 'invisible'. we're still calling this 'weather'? babys keep starving, &/or being murdered daily, as it was profitsized.

truth telling & disarming (weapons, media etc...) are the only spiritually & mathematically correct options left for most of the 'too many' of us 'unchosens'. see you there, after the fatal distraction ends?

No big surprise (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181808)

Plenty of nazis in Argentina. No wonder they make lagers there, too. Beer macht frei.

Re:No big surprise (1)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37182498)


Beer macht frei.

I lol'd. Well done.

As Fall here is Spring there... (1)

cybergremlin (136962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181846)

"June-Fest!"

I like chimichury flank steak better then sourkrout anyway.

Bonzentration Bumps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37181900)

When I first read title that's what came to my mind. (Lager == camp)

They can keep it! (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37181960)

Ales & stouts for life! The harder it is to see through, the better it is!

Re:They can keep it! (4, Informative)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 2 years ago | (#37182514)

Ale vs Lager only refers to the type of yeast and the temperature at which it was fermented. It has nothing to do with the color/opacity. While most ales the typical beer drinker encounters are darker than lagers, there are plenty of examples of lager styles that are very dark (e.g. doppelbock). Also, color does not always tell you how much flavor the beer has. It is just an indicator of which flavors you are likely to have more of, and even then, there are ways of making a really dark, yet relatively flavorless beer. For example, a beer that used a lot of "black patent malt" but is otherwise light on barley malt and hops would be as black as a Guinness but as flavorful as a Keystone Light.

Re:They can keep it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37184920)

A beer with more than an ounce or two of black patent per gallon is going to taste astringent and burnt, somewhat like sucking on a bag of tea leaves. It certainly will not be flavorless. Also, there's no such thing as "light on malt." Beer can't be made without it, it's chemically impossible.

Re:They can keep it! (2)

Guido von Guido (548827) | more than 2 years ago | (#37185164)

A beer with more than an ounce or two of black patent per gallon is going to taste astringent and burnt, somewhat like sucking on a bag of tea leaves. It certainly will not be flavorless. Also, there's no such thing as "light on malt." Beer can't be made without it, it's chemically impossible.

Of course you can make a beer that's "light on malt." A pound of malt has enough enzymes for at least an equal weight of non-malted grains. For that matter, you could convert non-malted grains with a source of enzymes. For instance, chicha is traditionally made with non-malted corn, with the starch converted to sugar by the enzymes in saliva. No reason you couldn't do that with unmalted barley or wheat.

Getting back to the original poster, though, there are definitely dark lagers available (e.g., dunkels, schwarzbiers and Baltic porters).

Re:They can keep it! (1)

catchy_handle (705154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37185266)

Negra Modelo from Mexico should be easy enough to locate in a grocery store near you for the curious.

Re:They can keep it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37187122)

When they first introduced light (low alcohol) beer in Australia, one of the beer companies had the bright idea of making their light beer darker than their regular brew, as they reasoned, probably correctly, that many men would be reluctant to let people know just by looking that they were drinking light. They decided not to advertise this fact, however, which sometimes resulted in the designated driver getting the full strength beer by mistake.

Re:They can keep it! (1)

suy (1908306) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183774)

Ales & stouts for life! The harder it is to see through, the better it is!

You never enjoyed a Pale Ale, do you? Is an ale, and... well, is as pale as the average lager.

Bullshit (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37182116)

Everyone knows that the unknown element in beer yeast is the higs boson otherwise known as the god particle. God really screwed up when he designed the world, the reproductive systems (who puts the entertainment center next to the sewage works) and women. He gave us beer to make up for it. And it does.

Re:Bullshit (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37182774)

And on that note....

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.
One said, ``It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints.''
Another said, ``No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous systems many thousands of electrical connections.''
The last said, ``Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?''

Re:Bullshit (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183208)

Until the beer gives you explosive diarrhea right before you're about to score.

Here comes another gimmicky brew (1)

Spykk (823586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37182356)

It's only a matter of time now before Dogfish Head releases something fermented with this yeast. I vote for Legacy Lager as a name.

Europa/Mars Life (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37183794)

This is sort of similar to the question from a post yesterday about Earth ejecta finding its way to the rest of the Solar System and seeding life. If we discover life on Mars, how do we know where the source is from?

Also, how do we know there wasn't a common ancestor?

History 101: (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#37188600)

If this is true, this serves to conclusively prove that Native Americans traded freely with the "New World" for quite some time.

Pastorianus! (1)

atrizu (1434023) | more than 2 years ago | (#37189406)

"You're a wizard, Harry!"
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