Australian Brewers Made Beer With Their Belly Button Lint
An Australian brewery is sourcing its yeast close to home: its brewers' belly button lint.
The Victoria-based 7 cent Brewery, founded by three engineers, is launching Belly Button Beer at the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular in late May.
“Perhaps the first beer in the world fermented from yeast captured from the brewer’s belly button fluff”—as the brewers write on their blog—“there will be a little bit of 7 cent in every glass.” They swabbed each other’s belly buttons and placed the resulting samples on agar plates (Petri dishes with nutrients designed to grow microorganisms). When their belly button microbiomes were properly cultured, they isolated yeast colonies to use to ferment their beer. Don’t worry, they used controls to make sure everything was sterile and potable.
After sampling trial batches of beers made with all three founders’ belly-button yeast, they chose the most delicious variety and used that strain to make a larger batch to debut at the festival. No, they have not disclosed which one of them has the most delicious belly button lint.
The beer itself is a Witbier-style brew made with orange zest and coriander. “Once you get used to the idea that yeast is yeast no matter where you get it from,” they write, “then you can just sit back and enjoy the beer … in theory.”
This isn’t the first weirdly personal craft beer. The 7 cent guys were inspired by an Oregon-based employee at Rogue who made brewer’s yeast using samples from his beard in 2012. Tasters reported that it wasn’t terrible, and it was the official beer of No Shave November last year. But if you’d rather your beer have nothing to do with other human bodies, perhaps you'd be better off with beer made with bull testicles, or beer made from 2000-year-old wheat.