Welcome…to the Yeast of TOMORROWWWW! I know, way too obvious, but I had to. Mia in the Library found this one while sorting through old materials for filing. And by old, I mean 1949; back then, beer companies were apparently using their unparalleled yeast science as points of marketing pride. Quoth the pamphlet:
"From the very beginning of recorded history, man preferred and treasured certain beers, wines, and bread-starter doughs without knowing the scientific reason for his preference.
"Later, with the aid of the microscope, man found that this preference was actually due to the character of yeast strains. Progress, however, was extremely slow because man was still working with wild yeast strains."
Thankfully, the microscope and the microscopic instruments that came after made short work of brew progress (hopefully, most companies also stopped attributing everything to man), and beer science got down to the business of separating and cultivating yeast strains.
"Today, with hybridization of yeast still in its infancy, the possibilities for tomorrow are truly unlimited."
Not sure we’re still seeing that sort of assurance in today’s commercials—mostly pictures of harvested hops falling in slow motion, or chrome trains riding blizzards through beach parties. But there’s no denying the extent to which the beer industry has relied on plant and fungi science over the years. Stay tuned for more from the archives of our Mertz Library, be it weird or otherwise. —MN