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Rogue Ales brewery using man’s beard yeast to make beer

When some homegrown hops didn't work, they decided to test out the brewmaster's hair follicles

No matter how good a beer tastes, sometimes it's best not to know what the secret ingredient is.

Award-winning brewmaster John Maier has been growing his beard continuously since 1978, but he may have just found a reason to cut some of it — beer.

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Earlier this summer, the brewmaster at Rouge Ales in Oregon sent homegrown hops samples to a lab to see if any could be used for brewing, according to a statement. None of them worked. So as a joke, they clipped nine beard follicles from Maier's beard, put them in a Petri dish and sent them to the lab.

To the shock of people at the lab and brewery, the beard samples contained yeast that was perfect for brewing.

"I don't know why, yeast is everywhere," said Maier to CNN. "You're really not drinking the beard, you're drinking a great beer that happens to have a yeast in it that comes from a beard."

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He said the beer, which is still being fine-tuned, tastes like it has spices plus his personality in it. The beer will be called New Crustacean and will be available in stores next year, although we're not sure if it'll make its way to Canada.

According to L.A. Weekly, this beard beer sounds far less disgusting than Chicha, a traditional beverage in South and Central America, where corn is chewed and spat out so saliva enzymes can convert starch into fermentable sugar.

(Photo of John Maier courtesy of Rogue Ales)