A Nation of Minions

People have been using microbes for thousands of years to create food and drink. Only in the last hundred years or so have we learned who our tiny partners are: yeast and bacteria. These tiny critters make our food tasty, illustrate how life works for scientists, and affect our health and behavior.

This is an occasional series about our ancient partnership with microbes, starting with our old familiar, yeast.

The 3rd part of this series was an exploration into sour brewing, and became a story for Zymurgy, “Jeff Young, Blue Owl Brewing, Austin Texas” (July/August 2018, print only)


Part One | Yeast and Booze

Evidence for wine and beer making date as far back as 8,000 years ago. It is clear that people readily and repeatedly discovered brewing, and transforming sweet liquids into hooch is nearly universal.


Part Two | Franken-Yeast:  Designing Life, Defining Life

Recently, scientists inserted man-made genes into yeast cells. But since the 1600s, scientists have turned to yeast to answer deep questions about life.