Photo: Galls on the beech trees of Patagonia in Argentina containing yeast alleged to be used in lager beer
It seems that after years of believing that credit for the discovery of the fermentation process that led to the modern day lager beer belongs to the Bavarians, it turns out the Argentineans really deserve that credit, and perhaps Christopher Columbus the credit for bringing that process to back to Europe with him.
Worldwide, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is used to ferment fruit and grains to make wine, cider, and ale, but the yeast used to ferment lager beer, Saccharomyces pastorianus is a hybrid of the former and what has now been discovered to be yeast from the beech tree forests of Patagonia in Argentina, named Saccharomyces eubayanus.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison stated:
The facile recovery of this species from Patagonia suggests that S. eubayanus may have been absent in Europe until it was imported from overseas after the advent of trans-Atlantic trade.
…trans-Atlantic trips like those made by the famous Christopher Columbus.