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The Grand Daddy Yeast

The grand-daddy yeast

So we have 4 key ingredients in beer. Malt, water, yeast and hops. All exactly as important as the other. So why’s no one talking about yeast? We say, lets get the conversation going with this glorious strain, and the father of most beers brewed in Australia up until the 70s; Melbourne No. 1 Yeast.

Melbourne No. 1 Yeast is a strain of yeast that is 100 years old. 100 years! that means that when this yeast was just a teenager the word teenager hadn’t been invented yet. 100 years ago the eiffel tower was the tallest structure in the world, the first known recording of Advanced Australia Fair was recorded, canned beer was just an idea in a guys head, Taronga zoo was being built and swimming at the beach in Australia during daylight hours had just been made legal. A lot has happened in 100 years, but not to this strain of yeast thanks to a handful of dedicated people.

So where has it been and why has it resurfaced? It’s mostly thanks to a guy named Peter Symons. He’s the catalyst of a chain of events that lead to it coming back to Australia. After a few pints on a brewery tour, something the brewer said made him think to search in the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) in the UK and BINGO! There it was. He then contacted Chris White from White Labs and the rest is history.

So our brewers have their excited little hands on it. Now what?  Well Tweeds (Andrew Tweddell) has just finished the first brew with it and has aptly named it “Australian Heritage Ale”. He’s based it on the original 1917 Tooth Pale Ale recipe with Marris Otter (Ale Malt), Flaked Corn and Cane Sugar. It comes in at 5.2% ABV and 19 IBUs. This is only a very limited batch and will be available on hand pump at 4Pines Brewpub Manly, Lord Dudley Hotel (Paddington) and Station Bar (Blue Mountains).

We can use this yeast for a few generations, so keep an eye out for the next generation in a few weeks time!