Bioengineering company, Renaissance BioScience, has developed a non-GMO breeding platform technology for creating industry-ready novel lager yeasts.
The development of the yeasts, which are immediately suitable for lager beer production, were detailed in a “landmark” paper in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
According to the company, the yeasts will help broaden the diversity of commercial lager beer strains for both major global beer producers and smaller craft breweries.
For hundreds of years, lager beer has been produced using strains from two related lager yeast types: Group I and Group II. Although these groups are genetically different, they produce very similar flavour and aroma profiles, and thus play a role in the lack of diversity in commercial lager beer.
To date, approaches aimed at creating new lager yeast have generated strains that possess undesirable brewing characteristics that render them commercially unviable.
This novel approach circumvents the issue and allows for the creation of new lager strains that are directly suitable for lager production. The paper proposes that yeast created using this novel approach be classified as a third group of lager strains (Group III).
The Renaissance approach was to breed the S. eubayanus subgenome from industrial lager strains and hybridize them to different ale strains, eliminating the need to breed undomesticated, wild S. eubayanus strains.
“This Renaissance achievement is one of the most practical innovations in lager yeast strain development,” said Renaissance BioScience CEO, Dr. John Husnik.
“Our paper outlines how this advance was developed and, importantly, explains the potential to create many different novel lager yeast strains, and also to fine-tune and enhance many current proprietary strains used by beer producers around the world.
“This yeast technology is ready to begin commercial usage and applications. Congratulations to our team on this exciting advance. We’re about to enter a whole new world of lager beer innovation.”
Zachari Turgeon, Principal Scientist and the paper’s lead author, said: “Our expert research and development team has developed an elegant and highly rigorous approach to developing lager strains that has significant potential to expand flavour profiles and improve the industrial efficiency of beermaking.
“In addition, the Renaissance platform approach could be combined with our patented hydrogen sulfide-preventing technology to reduce or even eliminate the off-aroma hydrogen sulfide, a common concern for lager beermakers everywhere, and this provides patent protection for any lager yeast innovations produced with our technology.”