NCSU lab brews unique beer with wild wasp, bee yeast

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- As the craft brewing industry grows rapidly, meeting the demand for unique flavors of beer, researchers at NC State University are creating something truly local-- sour beer made using wild yeast from wasps and bees.

Inside Schaub Hall on NCSU's campus, Dr. John Sheppard leads a research program in brewing science where his graduate students experiment with wild yeast.

"These good wild yeasts give us some really nice flavors; they give good ethanol yield, and they give a new style of beer you can't get with ordinary yeast," said Sheppard.

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Sheppard said the university submitted a patent for the strains of wild yeast, which is being licensed to local craft breweries: Deep River Brewing Co. in Clayton, as well as Nickelpoint Brewing and Gizmo Brew Works in Raleigh.

"When people try it and they say, 'Oh, this is really good,' I'm like, 'Well, I put a lot of work into it,' so it's really good to know that people enjoy the products that we make," said Mike Draper, who's getting his masters degree in food science under Dr. Sheppard.

On Friday, August 18, NCSU will be represented at a fundraiser for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, showcasing their sour beer made with wild yeast.
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