Fossil Fuel, I See What You Did There

So, I got back late from a meeting, so what I was planning to write will have to wait until Friday. Instead I am going to talk about an interesting beer I found out about a couple of years ago from the Fossil Fuels Brewing Company. I admit I did not actually get to try the beer even though I really wanted to. The reason I wanted to is because, as they claim, they made the beer from a strain of yeast that is 45 million years old. Specifically they were able to extract it from the stomach of a bee encased in Amber and now are producing beer made from this yeast. For the whole story you can visit their website at .

Now how I came to first find out about this beer was at a brewfest in Sacramento, CA that my sister put on with her Rotary Club. (Great event by the way if you are in the area). While I was there I did get to try a couple different beers, but then I saw the sign for Fossil Fuels Brewing and it caught my eye. They had a short sign explaining that the yeast was from a strain from 45 million years ago that had been extracted from amber. I mean how could that not catch your eye? This is a beer that could be using a strain of yeast that is 45 million years old, how cool is that.

Nerd Beer

The other part that got to me as I learned more about the beer is how nerdy the makers of this beer must be. As you read up on it they are talking about evolution, searching for multiple fossilized amber, comparing the yeast to modern products, etc. It is not simply here is some great beer try it, there was this whole scientific discovery that happened and this is the after-effect of such a discovery. It is just amazing the effort they put in to this – all of it very scientific exploration. They did not just stumble on something; they did research, they explored, and are now making beer.

Of course the cynic is me does think about the fact that it could just be a gimmick because how does the average person prove that the yeast used to make the beer is 45 million years old? At the same time there are a lot of easier gimmicks that one could use. If you want to make a beer that is kind of nerdy (which is part of the charm) there are probably some simple naming schemes you could use. Instead this definitely feels like science happened and then someone realized wow isn’t this a cool idea, which is kind of the thought that I love about this beer. It is not just another beer and the whole story behind it appeals to the part of me that was fascinated by dinosaurs and thinks it would be cool to be consuming something that came from that same time period. Although I have not tried it yet, so the question could be is it actually good beer or is it just 45 million year old yeast?


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