Hybrids between S. cerevisiae x S. eubayanus to add/enhance specific flavours in beer.

Academic partners: University of Leicester, United Kingdom & Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
Industry Partner: Heineken, Netherlands

Most of the beer produced in the world is fermented with one or two related hybrid yeast. One parent of the hybrid is Saccharomyces cerevisiae and until recently the other parent eluded discovery. This in addition to the sterility of the existing hybrids made it difficult if not impossible to improve the properties, such as flavour profiles produced, of the yeast used in fermentation. Now that the other parent is known and that many isolates from several world-wide locations have been found, new hybrids can be produced. In addition, the sterility has been overcome by utilising a tetraploid intermediate, which allows genetics to be done and improvements to be made via breeding. The genetically diverse new hybrids will be grown in fermentation conditions and analysed for flavour enhancements and the genetic architecture of improvements will be determined. Promising new hybrids with enhanced flavour profiles will be tested at pilot brewing scales with the industrial partner.