Horrific T. rex attacks aside, who doesn’t dream about how incredible it would be if there was a real life Jurassic Park? If only scientists could really recreate the legendary dinosaurs after finding traces of DNA within a mosquito preserved in amber. We would gladly trade this magazine for an opportunity to experience a real life Jurassic Park. Sadly, this is a dream that will most likely never be fulfilled, or at least not in our generation. However, thanks to the folks at Carlsberg, we can at least enjoy a Jurassic-style beer.
Using “sophisticated ‘Jurassic Park’-style techniques,” the Danish Carlsberg brewery brewed a beer using a yeast strain that is over 133 years old. Not only is the strain incredibly old, it’s also the strain used to brew the original Carlsberg Lager, one of the godfathers of the modern lager.
The yeast was pulled from a bottle of lager that had been stored in one of their beer cellars for many, many years. The research lab was able to remove the pure yeast and re-cultivate it to the point where Carlsberg was able to actually re-brew the legendary beer.
Though not a common beer in today’s craft market, it’s hard to deny the impact that this beer had on the craft market. As Martyn Cornell, a leading beer historian in Britain put it, “without it, we wouldn’t have the style of beer that now makes up 90% of the world’s market.”
It took over a year of research to pull off the feat of extracting the live yeast from the bottle, which dated all the way back to 1883. In brewing the beer, the brewing team used the same brewing techniques that were supposedly used in 1883, along with the original recipe and ingredients. It’s the closest thing that we’ll ever get to tasting what a traditional lager tasted like over a century ago.
It may not be as exciting as an island resort filled with dinosaurs, but getting to relive a piece of history from generations before us is a monumental achievement for craft beer, and one to ease the pain of knowing that we’ll never get to pet a dinosaur.