Lifestyle & CultureUni Life

What’s New in The Zoo? A UON Beer!

Students at the University of Newcastle have founded a project that could revolutionise craft beer for microbreweries in the Hunter. Wild Yeast Zoo is set to release its first sour beer ‘Wild Scholar’, Pat Alderton explains.

It goes without saying that as students at the University of Newcastle, we all find ourselves in dire need of some alcoholic assistance from time to time. If you add some beer snobbery to the equation, we have the perfect concoction of ingredients to enjoy while letting your hair down.

Releasing on the 27 of October, Wild Yeast Zoo has teamed up with local microbrewery the Rogue Scholar to create its first sour beer known as the Wild Scholar. Complete with a launch event at the Rogue Scholar on Union Street where members of the public can try the new brew for the first time.

Wild Yeast Zoo is a collaborative project between the Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology (CoESB), the Bacterial Regulation and Transport Laboratory (BRaTlab) and Rogue Scholar brewing.

Their aim is to create a biobank of local yeast that can be used to create and brew new sour beers in a newer, more sustainable fashion. The process requires fewer chemicals, less water and less power which makes it a much more unique and viable method.

People in the Hunter region are being encouraged to take part in the project and collect samples to contribute to the bank, which you can register your interest for here.


BRaTlab Scientist Evan Gibbs is excited to be a founder of this project.

“In collecting these native yeast samples, we hope to uncover new species with new metabolisms or metabolic pathways. This would have massive implications on the way we understand and utilise biofuels in the real world.”

Benjamin Matthews (left) and Evan Gibbs (right)

University of Newcastle Lecturer Dr. Benjamin Matthews has his sights set on expanding this project even further afield.

“If successful, this project has the ability to change the way we think about biofuels.”

The Wild Yeast Zoo will be launching its inaugural beer in collaboration with Rogue Scholar at their venue at 4-6 Union St, Newcastle West. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and can do so by following this link to confirm their attendance.

Feature Image: Wild Yeast Zoo, used with permission.


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