Brewmasters Share Tips Of The Beer-Making Trade In May, Science Friday visited Wisconsin and rounded up the region's best brewmasters. They shared their beer-making secrets and explained why Wisconsin's resources and heritage make it a brewing hotspot. Show originally broadcast May 16, 2008.
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Brewmasters Share Tips Of The Beer-Making Trade

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Brewmasters Share Tips Of The Beer-Making Trade

Brewmasters Share Tips Of The Beer-Making Trade

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IRA FLATOW, host:

For the rest of the hour, beer. We travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to find out about the art and science of brewing. From Schlitz to beer that made Milwaukee famous as the jingle goes, to shots, the fictional beer on the "Lavern and Shirley Show." Beer brewing is synonymous with this city. So what better place to learn about the science behind this age-old craft? We've gathered up the region's best brewmasters, those are large and small brewers to teach us about the chemistry that turns grain hops yeast and water into the lagers and ales and porters and stouts. Let me introduce my guest, Russ Klisch is the president and founder of Lakefront Brewery here in Milwaukee. Thank you for being with us.

Mr. RUSS KLISCH (President and Founder, Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee): Thank you for having me.

FLATOW: Thank you for the tour that you gave us.

Mr. KLISCH: Sure.

FLATOW: Of the brewery. Lyn Kruger is president and chief operating officer of the Siebgel Institute of Technology in Chicago where she teaches brewing and beer tasting, correct?

Ms. LYN KRUGER (President and COO, Siebel Institute of Technology): That's correct.

FLATOW: Wow, we're going find out more about that.

Ms. KRUGER: Fine job.

FLATOW: I bet it is. Must be a line waiting to get in for that.

Mr. KRUGER: There is.

FLATOW: Good job. Kirby Nelson is the brewmaster for Capital Brewery in Middletown, Wisconsin. Thank you for being with us today.

Mr. KIRBY NELSON (Brewmaster, Capital Brewery, Middletown, Wisconsin): Oh, this should be a hoot.

FLATOW: And if you're here maybe it will be. David Ryder is vice president of brewing and research and quality assurance at the Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee. Dr. Ryder is a yeast specialist. Is that correct?

Dr. DAVID RYDER (Vice President, Brewing and Research and Quality Assurance, Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee): What it's all about happy yeast and fermentation and that's why we make the beers that make thirst worthwhile.

FLATOW: Let's talk about that. Let's begin that with yeast. What role does yeast play in making beer?

Dr. RYDER: Well, the interesting thing is about yeast is that, because we all think about, you know, while we're making beer, which is making a moderate amount of alcohol and CO2. But in fact, we're making thousands of flavored compounds. Some of those flavored compounds come from the malted barley. Some of them come from the hops. But many of them come from the yeast or are transformed by the yeast and there's millions of yeast cells that produce every little drop of beer. So, it's extremely important have the yeast happy.

FLATOW: How do you keep them happy?

Dr. RYDER: Well...

FLATOW: Vacation? I mean...

Dr. RYDER: Like I talk to them. Sometimes you play music. We play music to our yeast at Miller Brewing Company and that's very important and then...

FLATOW: Classical or rock?

Dr. RYDER: It's rock. Rock mostly, yeah. You know, they like Led Zeppelin. Classical doesn't go down so well with them but, Led Zeppelin does.

FLATOW: Kirby Nelson, let's talk about what happens in the whole brewing process. Take us through a simple brewing process. How do you get those yeast to be...

Mr. NELSON: You know, quite frankly when people come in and say, what do you do for a living? I have to be honest. I don't do anything. My wife will be the first to attest. But when I look at myself as environmental technician - you know, brewing has been around for thousands of years and what we've learned over this time is that mother nature's a wonderful thing. And if we take these raw materials that mother nature gives us and put them in a very specific environment that they have to behave in a certain way. They're never going to let you down. And that's quite frankly what we do.

We take this for the most part, malted barley and malting is a process where the barley is wetted, allowed to germinate to a certain point. Then that growth is arrested by the use of heat which activates salted biochemical systems in the barley and make it a lot more suitable for what we want to accomplish in a brewing process, and it makes it taste a lot better.

FLATOW: And then, what do you do? What happens? What's the process?

Mr. NELSON: We take this barley and we basically ground it up, mix it with water, make an infusion of mash, or porridge per se, hit a series of temperature steps to breakdown complex substances taking advantage of the enzymes that's actually present in the barley because breakdown of complex things such as starch into simpler forms and in case the starch and simple sugars, that yeast could eat. When you see the kettle that is associated with the brew house, we don't make beer in that particular - those vessels. We make fermentable liquid called wort. And then we cool this wort, oxygenate it and it's forwarded to Dr. Ryder's department.

FLATOW: Lyn Kruger, can you look for yeast that gives a specific flavor? I mean, can you be that picky about the yeast?

Ms. KRUGER: Oh, yes, you can. I think it depends very much on the style of beer that you're making. So, depending on the flavor components you want in the ultimate beer. You choose the yeast accordingly and there are hundreds and hundreds of different varieties of yeast that you can choose from to give you the flavor you want.

FLATOW: What makes a different - Russ, what makes for a different kind of beer? Like the, you know, the lager or the ale or porter something like that?

Mr. KLISCH: The difference between the ale and a lager will be the yeast. So, there's two different styles of yeast.

FLATOW: Four of you have all said yeast.

Mr. KLISCH: Yeah.

FLATOW: That is the...

Mr. KLISCH: But they also have specialty grains, a lot of times, they go on in. To make a darker beer, use roasted grains or some caramelized grains will give you amber-colored beer.

FLATOW: What does the hops do? We've seen that and the commercials are all showing these hops. People - this one where the brew master is rubbing in between his hands and smelling his hands for the hops. What do the hops do? Any of you want to...

Mr. RYDER: Yeah. Well, I can - perhaps I can start on that. Five things that actually hops do generally. First, they were first juiced because of their antimicrobial properties stopping nasty things that's actually growing in beer. Beer is actually safer than water. You know, water can harbor nasty microorganisms such as Salmonella or Shigella or even cryptosporidium. But beer never does that because - partly because of the hops. So, the antimicrobial property is very good. Then it has flavor, mouth feel bitterness and also aroma. So hops are very, very important to the overall make up in the flavor of the beer.

FLATOW: Do you have a trade secret over there at Miller? Are trade secrets?

Mr. RYDER: Oh, there are lots of trade secrets. In fact, I'm sure that all of us have our various sort of what, you know, sort of trade secrets to test the kind of beer.

FLATOW: Do you all have sort of trade secrets that you've discovered that other people might not know about?

Mr. NELSON: I can't tell you that.

FLATOW: You're going to do that or I'd have to shoot you?

Ms. KRUGER: Yes.

FLATOW: Lyn? Do you have any comment on that? I mean, it sounds like to me, it's sort of an art more than a science here because everybody knows how to do the simple science part of it.

Ms. KRUGER: I think it's a combination. I think also when you get to larger breweries like Miller, there may be more trade secrets than when you get to the craft industry where they tend to share information a lot more readily and in fact, share raw materials. They'll, you know trade malts. They'll trade hops. So, they less trade secrets, I think in the craft industry than there is in big commercial brewery.

FLATOW: Russ, do you agree with that?

Mr. KLISCH: Yeah. We probably have trade secrets we don't know about. There's a lot of times, you have what they call house flavor in beer. And we just - from your equipment which you use or the technique, you might even not know what you're having but there are times you can brew the same recipe in two different breweries and end up with two different beers.

FLATOW: This is Talk of the Nation: Science Friday from NPR News. Lyn, tell us about tasting. Do you have to teach someone how to be a beer taster?

Ms. KRUGER: Yes, you do. We have as part of Siebel Institute, we have laboratory services that we offer and one of the services is a taste panel. So, breweries will send their beers into us and we'll do a taste panel evaluation. And you do need to train people to recognize the various different positive, negative attributes in beer to be able to describe them.

FLATOW: How is the price of grain now, which is skyrocketing? Is that affecting the price of beer, too, Kirby?

Mr. NELSON: Oh, quite a bit. I know of the price of - the price that we pay for our base malt is more than double from the last year, and especially malts, especially the ones that we utilized from overseas has gone up almost 300 percent. It's, quite frankly, very scary.

FLATOW: But people will continue to buy beer pretty...

Mr. NELSON: Well, they have their priorities correct. No doubt about that. If I could touch on...

FLATOW: Sure.

Mr. NELSON: Somebody made a very good point. A lot of folks asking, what is beer, and art and science? So understand, beer making has been around thousands and thousands of years. Yale is doing a recipe for food stuff ever found, as a 7,000-year-old recipe from ancient Mesopotamia for beer. So back then, we didn't understand science like we understand it today. But as time, you know, went on, we became a little more educated, let's say, as a species, and in terms of beer making, sure it's an art. You have to develop a feel for how to put these, you know, raw materials together. But as you learn more about the science, the biochemistry, the specifics behind it, it can help you in your art, and help you know how to modify the situation you're dealing in and try to make a better glass of beer.

FLATOW: What's the difference between beer and malt liquor?

Mr. NELSON: That's a governmental designation from the United States, where one time any, beer that was more than five or five and a half percent alcohol by weight, it was called, it was called malt liquor, and that kind of morphed into today, what was considered relatively inexpensive beer with a lot of syrups in it, that, syrups in it that give a lot of alcohol kick per se, but not a whole lot of malted barley flavor and the alcohol can vary quite a bit.

FLATOW: And some of these new drinks in bottles, these hard sort of drinks, people think they're actually drinking alcohol when they're drinking malt liquor or the hard alcohol when they're drinking malt liquor. Is that correct, Lyn?

Mr. RYDER: Well, you know, malt liquor is really, as Kirby said, it's just a taste, a designation of beer, and it's just slightly higher in alcohol content than, you know, say, your normal beer such as Miller Lite, Coors Lite, Bud Lite, which are about 4.2 percent alcohol by volume.

FLATOW: What create - what is a light beer? Why is it called light? What makes it different than the other beer?

Mr. RYDER: Well, in...

FLATOW: Is it just calories in the beer?

Mr. RYDER: Well, in this country, and I have to specify it's this country, is calories and carbohydrates, so you're lowering calories and you're lowering carbohydrates. But in other countries, such as Australia, and such as the U.K., where I originate from, it can mean lower in alcohol. But here in the States, we don't do very low alcohol beers.

FLATOW: Lyn, as someone who tastes light beer, is there a real difference in taste between them?

Ms. KRUGER: Between different brands of light beer, or between light beer, and regular beer?

FLATOW: Take your choice.

Ms. KRUGER: OK. I think, depending on which light beers. Light beers, generally, tend to taste fairly similar. I would think there are some that are different, and they certainly taste quite different from a regular beer. For example, if you talk about Bud and Bud Light, or Miller, Miller Light, there is a difference in the body, the mouth feel, and in this case, the alcohol concentration is slightly different as well.

FLATOW: Is it worth the difference in the calorie? The difference in taste? Do you think that it taste...

Ms. KRUGER: It's personal preference, I think. You know, I don't think the calories make that much difference. I always say, you know, liquid calories don't count. It's just what you eat that counts, so it really doesn't matter.

FLATOW: We're going to take a short break. We'll be right back to talk lots more about the art and science of brewing beer.

FLATOW: You're listening to Talk of the Nation: Science Friday. I'm Ira Flatow. We're talking this hour from Milwaukee about beer with my guests. Russ Klisch, president and founder of the Lakefront Brewery here in Milwaukee. Lyn Kruger, president and chief operating officer of Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. Kirby Nelson is the brewmaster for Capital Brewery in Middletown, Wisconsin. David Ryder, vice president of brewing and research and quality assurance at Miller Brewing Company. Russ, I understand that you make organic beer. What's the difference? We see organic on the labels of everything now.

Mr. KLISCH: Yeah.

FLATOW: Why shouldn't beer - all beer be organic?

Mr. KLISCH: At one time, it was all organic. Way back when Wisconsin first started brewing beer, all the beer made here was organic. It was made without any heavy fertilizers or pesticides on it. And in 1996, we became the first brewery in the country to make an organic beer under our own label and so it's a little bit challenging. With it, you use the grains that's a little bit smaller in size, you have to crush it a little bit differently, the hops - there's not as quite of a wide variety of hops. When you style a type of beer, you want to make sure the style is matching with other style of hops.

FLATOW: So anybody, basically at home, is making organic beer.

Mr. KLISCH: If they buy organic grain or organic hops.

FLATOW: It's easy to - can you buy that stuff online?

Mr. KLISCH: Yes, they do. There are organic home brewery supply stores out there.

FLATOW: All right. Let's go to the audience here. Yes, sir.

DALE (Audience): My name is Dale Bassler(ph). I'm a science teacher down here for an outing. Unfortunately, this might be a little tricky to bring back to the classroom. So I'll ask a different question. My question is, I understand there's a hop shortage and could you tell us a little bit about that and how to affect my evening?

(Soundbite of laughter)

FLATOW: You may have to go to a movie.

Mr. KLISCH: It's almost an unprecedented time for us in history in terms of we're getting hit just besides fuel cost. You know, going through the rough also on grain cost and hop. For many, many years, there was a glut of alpha acid. The bittering compound that we achieved on our hops is called alpha acids. And this can be put in an extract form that will keep for quite a while. And for what I understand, there was a lot of extract in the market for a long time. Combined that with the hop farmers, getting beaten up very badly for price. We went from over 200 hop growers in this country in '80s down to 45. And then last year, we had, I would say, a Biblical type set of events happened.

There was - one of the hop companies in this country had a huge warehouse fire that destroyed four percent of the alpha acid. I believe that was available in this country, perhaps the world. The British hop crop is in tough shape and the steering region that grows a lot of hops in the weekend, two out of three days, got destroyed by hale all over the place. There were issues, and all of a sudden, we went from hops being, for example, the classic American hop cascade. I was paying 3.30 a pound for this a couple of years ago. This June, if folks can get it off the, you know, market, in that contract, it's going to be up to $50 a pound.

FLATOW: Wow.

Mr. KLISCH: And it was a combination of many things, and let's say, well, let's just plant more hops. Ironically, I believe it takes three years for a hop field to get into full production, so there's a turnaround time here, and it is going to flatten out if we've been contracting for hops. I've noticed that they're asking us to contract out for quite a few varieties five years out and the price is dropping on an annual basis. So I believe, the hop shortage is a short-term thing.

FLATOW: David Ryder, how do you make - you make an awful lot of beer every year, right? Would that be - how do you keep it so consistent to stay exactly, to taste the same with all that, to those batches that you make?

Mr. RYDER: Well, I think, there's the whole panel that will actually tell you, you know, the, right the first time, if you're going to make say, the Miller Light, which is a single work stream, and to make it right the first time is actually very difficult. Because you're doing it batch after batch, you know, you're doing it brewery after brewery. In our case, we've got six major breweries across the country. So it's not an easy thing to do. But with the right procedures and the right quality and all the panel are very experienced in those things, then you can certainly do it.

FLATOW: Question here from the audience. Step up to the mic. Go ahead.

ABBY (Audience): Hi. I'm Abby Rosen. I actually get to take this back to my classroom because I'm a biochemistry professor at Marion University in Fondulac. This past semester, we made cheese and beer and wine.

FLATOW: All together?

Ms. ROSEN: Separate weeks. If I were to actually inspire my bachelor chemist and my bachelor biologist, do you guys have jobs for them? Or what kind of background would you like them to have to come work for you guys?

FLATOW: Lyn?

Ms. KRUGER: Well, we personally wouldn't because we're a school that prepares people. But certainly for the students that leave for our alumni, we have a job posting and a system where we help, you know, put them in touch with people who are looking to employ. And we haven't had an alumni yet that hasn't found a job. So that's probably...

FLATOW: What's the most important trait that a good alumnus should have? What makes a great - Kirby, what makes a good person that you're looking to hire in the beer industry?

Mr. NELSON: A very intense, solid work ethic. Understand folks, everyone would think, wow, how cool. You're making beer for a living. And you know what? Yes, it is. But understand. Brewing, from my standpoint, is 90 percent drudge work. You are in there cleaning, sanitizing. You want just one little microorganism that you should choose to work on, the work that we're making to create beer. Key word, micro, very small. Have to sanitize, understand what needs to be - to keep that environment very clean. In answer to your question, biochemistry is a wonderful, I think, entry into the field of brewing, and having a good understanding or how things happen like that and microbiology.

FLATOW: Is there a holy grail of beer that hasn't been achieved yet? Something that you'd like to make, and you would like to figure out, have a certain consistency and - Russ, you're sort of laughing at me here, like, what is he talking about?

Mr. KLISCH: That's like saying all the music's been invented. There's always something out there you can take and right about now, there's a lot of different styles of beers being made without the four major ingredients.

FLATOW: But do you have to craft it for a new generation of drinkers? I mean, the kids who are going to be the new beer drinkers, do they have to have something different that their grandparents didn't have, or some sort of attraction to the drink?

Mr. FLISCH: Well, you're always looking for a new ingredient or something that gives it a little different style or type to it. But you know, beer's been around for 600 years or so. And it's been a pretty successful beverage in those periods of time. So I think it's not going to change too much. But you're always looking at something from some aspect.

Mr. RYDER: Yes, I think perhaps I could answer that, and we'd actually forgotten the kinds of beer styles that used to be in existence. There are hundreds, thousands of beer styles that used to be made, and that are just not made anymore. And I think it's a challenge to all of us to sometimes go back in time, and to look at some of those old beer styles. And could I just - you made a comment to the question that was asked earlier about some education in brewing. I'm a biochemist, and a bit of a microbiologist, and so on. We always have places for biochemists and chemists and microbiologists.

FLATOW: Talking about beer this hour in Talk of the Nation's Science Friday from NPR News. Let's see if we could go to the phones to Doug in Grand Rapids. Hi Doug.

DOUG (Caller): Hi there. Thanks for taking my call.

FLATOW: Hi, go ahead.

DOUG: I have a question. I'm a big Stroh's drinker, have been from back in the day when they were in Detroit, Michigan. And they always made a point to mention their so-called unique fire brewing process. And I just wonder - I don't know if it's made that way anymore now that Miller is making it. But I wonder, is all beer made, you know, using heat, and if not, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using heat or not using heat?

FLATOW: Did they ever tell you, Doug, what fire brewing meant?

DOUG: Well, they - I know they had, you know, that you would see - I never made it to the brewery before they tore it down unfortunately. But you know, they would let you could drive by and see these big copper kettles right in the window. And apparently, the beer was brewed, you know, it's actually heated, you know, during the brewing process.

FLATOW: Let me see if I can get an answer. Anybody know what fire brewing is?

Mr. RYDER: Yes. First of all, in the preparation of wort, which Kirby was explaining earlier, you have to use heat. You use heat in the mash time, you use heat in the latter time in the kettle and so on. And so heat is always used. But as the fire brewing for Stroh refers to the kind of heat that was used. You have these gigantic flames underneath these particular vessels that were being heated up where the wort was boiled. And that was what was called sort of, was sort of fire brewing. You can use steam coils. You can use other types of heat. But Stroh particularly used fire brewing with these gigantic flames.

Mr. NELSON: If I may jump in really quick...

FLATOW: Sure.

Mr. NELSON: The type of heat has a huge difference at the beer.

FLATOW: Is that right?

Mr. NELSON: Oh, when you're using a flame, it's much hotter per se, as it's hitting the vessel, and you're going to get a little bit more caramelization of some of the sugars. For example, we were on contract brewing, making beer for another brewery as they were undergoing growing pains. And they had a flame-heated kettle. We have steam. We had to compensate for us using steam than using fire by adding some caramel malt to the recipe to compensate for this different type of heat.

FLATOW: So you can just change the flavor by changing the kind of heating that you're putting into it. It almost seems like it's more difficult to make beer or you can make it more - in different ways than you can wine.

Mr. NELSON: Beer is much more sophisticated, trust me.

(Soundbite of laughter)

FLATOW: You're going to tell me we have to lie the can on the side now when we store it? Or is that the...

Mr. FLISCH: Well, cans are such good packages actually. You don't have to go through any nonsense. You can just put them wherever you want. It's a wonderful way to pack beer, by the way.

FLATOW: Is there a great difference in getting beer out of the draft than it is in the can or bottle?

Mr. NELSON: Certainly can be.

FLATOW: Or is that just mythology? Is it - so is brewing so different now than when they made a big batches that you couldn't get it out of a can or a bottle, that had made it a big difference. Has refrigeration change all of that or?

Mr. RYDER: Well, beer styles have changed even in the past hundred years, but to be more specific, draft beer, getting beer out of the keg is next to the freshest beer if you like. You know, once the beer is put into bottles or cans, it starts to age. And aging unlike wine is not good for beer. So, you need to drink beer as fresh as you possibly can. And I think all of us would agree to that. So it's important...

FLATOW: Certainly this audience.

Mr. NELSON: To be able to challenge your palate by getting to beer as quickly as possible.

FLATOW: Talking this hour about the art and science of brewing beer. Let's go to the question right here in the audience.

BOB (Audience Member): Hi, I'm Bob Olsen. I have a question about a style of beer. My favorite beer is called, I think a Cream Beer. It's a very smooth beer. My mother calls it a dessert beer. And I'm thinking of Boddington's in Britain or Wesford in Ireland. The question I have is those two come with widget inside, a pressurized widget.

FLATOW: That's a technical phrase.

BOB: I actually think it is, not sure. But the question that I have is it the style of beer that makes it so, I don't know, smooth or is this pressurization?

FLATOW: Doesn't Guinness come with the widget in the can?

Ms. KRUGER: Yes, it does. It does, and, yes. Cream beers or cream ales, as they're sometimes called are often served with nitrogen as the gas, instead of carbon dioxide. And that little widget is really putting nitrogen into the beer, rather than carbon dioxide. And nitrogen bubbles tend to be smoother. So like Guinness has that very tight foam, and Dave is a foam expert, but so it gives a completely different mouth feel, and body to the beer. Carbonation has a trigerminal sensation so it's a tactile like you feel...

FLATOW: This is Talk of the Nation Science Friday from NPR News.

FLATOW: Who ever heard this terms describing beer before.

Ms. KRUGER: I know, they...

FLATOW: Trigerminal, wow.

Ms. KRUGER: But it's your sense of touch base.

FLATOW: It just shows us how really seriously you take your beer here in Milwaukee.

Ms. KRUGER: Oh, we do.

Ms. FLISCH: Well, perhaps just add to that. I mean, Lyn absolutely is right. But to put it on a - you know, better base perhaps, foam is very sexy. Really it is.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. FLISCH: It is - it gives you the tactile properties of the beer, you know. And which is why in this country, if you pour beer too cold and particularly down the side of the glass you're not going to get any foam. And that's a shame, because brewers put a lot of effort and all the people here and the panel here put a lot of efforts to actually make beer with good foam. And Lyn is right, the CO2 in the beer will actually give you foam. But if you want to denser, a more creamy foam, nitrogen gas and nitrogen is in the widget which you speak about will actually do that. And that's released as you open the bottle of the can.

FLATOW: Why do we drink beer so much colder here than they do across the pond? Why - what is the tradition and why do we brew it differently for that reason, Kirby?

Mr. NELSON: Well, that's - a lot of folks at, in our end of the industry, the special industry, call them, light beers that are very well made, but very mild, lawn mowers. Because after you're done cutting the grass on a super hot day, they're good and cold, you open up and bang! It's gone. You know, but by their nature, they're not very intensely beers, and they're, when they're chilled quite a bit, tend to lose some of their flavor.

The great late beer writer Michael Jackson once said Americans tend to chill their beer into insensibility. Which means, when something's too cold, the flavor doesn't come through. And milder American beers were eventually looked at as, at least from my standpoint, being a very, very thirst-quenching liquid. And their flavor became milder over time as they became more mass marketed. So again, it became more of a very pleasant chilled sensation.

FLATOW: And so it was all sort of a marketing technique thing.

Mr. NELSON: Again, someone once said the best way to mass market something is to offend the least number of people possible. And so beers were made you know, very, very well made. But you know, a little bit milder, per se, in this country. And it just became of habit. I mean, when I walk into a, you know, establishment that serves our beer and they say, oh you're going to love this. And they hand me a bottle of our beer at about 32 degrees in an iced mug, it's OK. Thanks.

FLATOW: That's...

Mr. FLISCH: Then when they turn around, I'm putting them under my arms trying to heat them up.

(Soundbite of laughter)

FLATOW: One quick question we have time for.

Unidentified Woman: Just for question, my friend recently got - came back from her, wait, she's an entomologist and conference, and they had perfected their beer. They called it bug beer and they extracted the yeast from the bark beetle.

FLATOW: Glad I kept this for the lab.

(Soundbite of laughter)

FLATOW: They took the yeast from the bark beetle.

Ms. KRUGER: The yeast from the bark beetle...

FLATOW: Do they make beer out of it.

Ms. KRUGER: And made beer out of it. Used it to make beer.

FLATOW: Well, what do you think Russ? Bark beetle (unintelligible).

Mr. KLISCH: May be that's the holy grail beer there.

(Soundbite of laughter)

FLATOW: Russ Klisch, president and founder of the Lakefront Brewery right here in Milwaukee. Thank you for taking time to be with us today. David Ryder, vice president of brewing, research and quality assurance at Miller Brewing Company. Thank you, David for joining us today. Kirby Nelson is a brewmaster at the Capital Brewery in Middletown, Wisconsin.

Mr. NELSON: Thank you.

FLATOW: And Lyn Kruger, president and Chief Operating Officer of the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. Thank you Lyn. That's about all the time we have for today. If you like to write us, please send your letters to Science Friday 4 West 43rd Street room 306, New York, New York 10036 or send us an email at sciencefriday.com. Have a great holiday weekend. We'll see you next week. I'm Ira Flatow in New York.

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