Beer enthusiasts would be surprised to learn that lagers, one of the simplest styles of beer known to man and one that can be traced as far back as the 15th century, are still a work in progress.
All this time, beers like Budweiser and PBR have been made from a hybrid yeast containing about 50 percent ale yeast and 50 percent of an unknown species. The missing half of the equation, which has stumped scientists for years, was found in the jungles of Patagonia in 2011, and Heineken is the first company to capitalize on the findings with a new beer that’s set to hit the U.S. some time in 2017.
Named after the latitude coordinates of the forest in Patagonia where it was discovered, H41 took Dutch brewers years of trial and error before they were finally able to take advantage of the gold strike.
“I knew we had found the missing parent of our A-yeast,” says Heineken Brew Master Willem van Waesberghe. “As a master brewer, it has always been a dream to take a yeast from the wild and create a new lager style. I know some have tried, but have been unsuccessful.”
The result, Waesberghe adds, is a beer with a much stronger yeast flavor than your traditional Heineken lager. We can’t wait to take it for a test sip (or gulp).