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Author: Aleszu Bajak

Aleszu Bajak is a science writer currently living in Argentina.

Bisphenol Pale Ale: Should You Be Worried About the BPA in Your Beer Can? Beer and Health by

The industry’s wholehearted embrace of cans comes with a lurking question: should we be worried about chemicals in the container’s epoxy lining?

Sequencing Wild Yeast: Brewers Team Up with Scientists to Better Understand Fermentation Feature by

To create more consistent wild beers and better understand fermentation, brewers are teaming up with scientists. The future of sour beer has never looked better.

Hazed and Confused: Seeking Clarity in IPAs Zymology by

What’s wrong with unfiltered beer? Nothing, traditionally speaking. Grains like oats and wheat, which brewers have used for hundreds of years, are known for rendering cloudy beer. But when it’s a hazy American IPA, people start arguing.

Unlocking the Secrets of Smell: Hop Chemists Are Advancing How We Understand and Manipulate Aroma Feature by

Don’t let the names confuse you. Aroma compounds are being engineered into your beers, so think about them the next time you smell a hop bomb. Does your nose detect anything besides that hop character?

Out of Thin Air Zymology by

Fogcatching technology near the world’s driest desert provides water for parched communities and resourceful brewers.

Planes, Trains & Collaboration Brews: International Collaborations Celebrate Global Beer Culture Feature by

The ambition of international collaboration brewing is to bring together brewers—and their different approaches—in an environment where they can share and learn, and build something that is perhaps greater than the sum of its parts.

The Illegal Beer Business: Eighty Years After Prohibition, the Beer Black Market is Still Thriving Feature by

Plenty of beer advocates out there are grateful to the retail Robin Hoods who risk their businesses and gamble their licenses by selling rare beers to loyal customers, or offering illegal beer to attract new beer geeks. But who stands to lose?

Where to Drink in São Paulo, Brazil Destinations by

Revel in a craft beer scene that is by far the most advanced in Latin America. Today, you’ll find Black IPAs, Saisons, Imperial Stouts, and plenty of Brazilian-themed beers like açai Stouts and cassava Pilsners. Until recently though, finding craft beer in São Paulo was like looking for the source of the Amazon.

Brewing With Ants: Brazilian Brewers Get Creative with a Local Delicacy Zymology by

The story of the world’s first Leafcutter Ant Saison starts in the days leading up to São Paulo, Brazil’s O Mercado, an epic gastronomy fair that brings together more than 20,000 foodies, chefs, restaurateurs and a handful of brewers.

Stemming the Rise of Barley Diseases: How Nasty Fungal Infections Could Affect Our Grains and Beer Feature by

The world produced over 134 million metric-tons of barley between 2011 and 2012. But up to 95 percent of the world’s barley is susceptible to a variety of a fungal disease called stem rust that was discovered in Uganda in 1999. Dubbed Ug99, it has spread across East Africa and up into the Middle East.

Enlightenment Ales From the Source by

Ben Howe opened Enlightenment Ales in Lowell, Mass., in October 2011 with the idea of brewing not an Export Stout, but rather one very special beer style: Bière de Champagne.

Yeast Ranching: Wrangling Wild Yeast and Other Microorganisms, Off the Grid Feature by

In their quest to push the boundaries of brewing and redefine craft beer styles, American brewers are deep into experimenting with brewing’s most fickle ingredient: wild yeast. And as demand for Brett and other wild strains skyrockets, lab geeks like Dmitri Serjanov are stepping up to meet it.

The Interactive Brewery: Breweries Extend Their Identities Within Their Communities Feature by

A good brewery is aware of the atmosphere it’s creating. They don’t just want you to stop in and check it off your list; they want you to hang around, ask questions, bring friends. In essence, it’s all about community-building.

Keeping Brewing Safe Feature by

Brewing accidents are not a thing of the past. Most brewers know of someone who has been injured on the job or have plenty of harrowing stories about close calls.

Extra Virgin Pale Ale: Why Some Brewers Have Tried Adding Olive Oil to Beer Zymology by

Over the last few years, there have been rumblings that olive oil can be added to beer instead of oxygen. Like milk fortifying our bones, yeast need oxygen to build strong cell walls. The idea is that olive oil contains oleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid that could be enough to promote yeast growth.

Brewing in Thin Air: What Alpine Breweries Are Doing at High Altitude Feature by

Most of Colorado’s breweries are more than 5,000 feet above sea level. But professional brewers at altitude are downright scientific with their methods. And the first thing they point to is the temperature at which they boil.

Where to Drink in Buenos Aires, Argentina Destinations by

Commonly referred to as the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is a sprawling metropolis that deserves its rank among the world’s greatest cities. The beer market may still be dominated by AB-InBev’s Quilmes, but forgo these ricey lagers and syrupy Stouts, and head off the beaten path to Buenos Aires’ true beer bars.

Munich Scientists Tinker with Yeast Zymology by

A group of young scientists in Germany have managed to brew a beer with added flavors that doesn’t break the Reinheitsgebot, the 1516 purity law. By tinkering with the genes in yeast, students at the Technical University of Munich have engineered the microorganisms to impart additional flavors and substances to their beers, like lemon and caffeine.

Brewing with Cheatgrass Zymology by

While out one day surveying invasive cheatgrass fields in Nevada, USDA scientist Tye Morgan thought about the weed’s potential as a brewing grain.

The Lager Yeast Genome Project Feature by

While walking in the woods, Argentinian microbiologist Diego Libkind stumbled upon fungus clusters scattered on the ground. Taking a sample back to the lab, Libkind found a species of Saccharomyces yeast living on these edible mushrooms.

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