If you've ever been on a brewery tour (and actually listened instead of drinking the whole time), you'd probably know that yeast is one of the most important elements when it comes to making beer. With that said, it should come as no surprise that brewmasters all over the world are searching for new and unique strains of the living creatures to give their brews a proprietary edge. Turns out a group of brewers in Australia didn't have to look very far to find some... in their bellybuttons.
Brewers at 7 cent Brewery harvested yeast from lint they dug out of their bellybuttons and used it to make what they're aptly calling Belly Button Beer. The, uh, unique brew will debut at the 2016 Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular and could very well be the world's first beer fermented with belly button yeast. Doug Bremner, the brewery's co-founder, said they were inspired by the similarly weird Beard Beer released by Rogue a few years ago, according to a report by Mashable.
The brewery describes the Belly Button Beer as a "new world-ish Belgian-ish Witbier with fresh orange zest and toasted coriander seeds." As explained in the report, it's a "spontaneously fermented beer," which means it's also exposed to naturally occurring yeast and bacteria during the fermentation process. Additionally, the brewers added Riwaka and Mosaic hops to boost the citrus flavor profile. Oh, and probably cover up all that hot bellybutton flavor.
As for the actual belly button yeast, there's a whole other level of scientific process behind that, which we'll allow the brewery to explain via a blog post on its website:
"The process of isolating our own yeast strain involved swabbing samples of each of the brewer’s belly buttons and getting our full science on by streaking out the samples on agar plates. After allowing the plates to incubate, we found all sorts of interesting things growing, including what appeared to be colonies of yeast. Positive controls were used to help us identify yeast colonies and negative controls were used to ensure our techniques were sterile. We selected individual yeast colonies and grew them up until we had pitchable quantities for trial batches."
Sounds delicious, right? A video from the brewery -- that depicts the actual bellybutton picking -- will win you over if you're not already: