Ancient Yeast Adds Flavor To Today's Ale

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Some U.S. breweries offer beers made with yeasts that are millions of years old. The molecules have been unearthed from archeological finds, deconstructed and then rebrewed.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Even as some pubs die, some beers, or ales, are coming back to life. In the United States, some breweries offer beers made with yeasts that are millions of years old, and that's our last word in business today. The molecules are unearthed from archaeological finds. They're deconstructed so the recipes can be figured out, and then the beer is brewed, at places like Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where Jason Weisberg(ph) is general manager.

Mr. JASON WEISBERG (Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats): Sometimes these recipes have been unearthed for the first time. So when we reproduce them, there's a lot of excitement about drinking something or enjoying and trying something that may not have been tasted for thousands and thousands of years. After that, the acceptability factor kicks in and we'll usually figure out whether people will want a second or a third one.

INSKEEP: One of Weisberg's new offerings is a very old Central American brew, which has cocoa powder and chili flavor, for those who like brownies with their Salvadoran food.

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