ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology

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3, Nov 2022

Here’s cheers to a new wild yeast zoo

A citizen science project to unearth the ingredients for new Australian yeast beers has launched in Newcastle, NSW.

The Wild Yeast Zoo is a collaboration between CoESB researchers from the University of Newcastle and local boutique brewery, Rogue Scholar.

About 90 guests, including key stakeholders from biotech companies, universities and the brewing industry, attended the event to spruik the potential of the region’s “tiny lifeforms” – the wild yeasts found in native flora.

Collection kits will be sent to citizen scientists in the NSW Hunter region to help compile a native flora database.

The goal eventually is to canvass national results to build up a database that can be bought and used for brewing.

The project website, probekit, branding and content were produced in collaboration with a student team at the University of Newcastle, and coordinated by team member Dr Ben Matthews.

The students also wrote and executed a social media campaign in the lead up to the launch event.

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Image credit: Shaun Woodford