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Under the Microscope: Better Beer with House Yeast?

Is your small brewery ready for its own house yeast strain? Here are some key factors to consider, from sourcing it to keeping a close eye on it.

Don Tse May 30, 2022 - 11 min read

Under the Microscope: Better Beer with House Yeast? Primary Image

A keg of house yeast at Firestone Walker in Paso Robles. Photo: John Verive.

When smaller breweries are in their early days, most ferment their beers using commercially available yeast strains. Perhaps the strains are favorites from the founder’s homebrewing days, or perhaps the brewers are using several strains chosen for a wide variety of beers.

At some point, however, as the brewery matures, it often adopts one or more house yeast strains, and there are many sound reasons to do so: House strains can save a brewery money, increase cellar throughput, and help create better, more consistent beers.

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Don Tse is an internationally recognized beer writer and beer judge, working from his home base in the middle of North America’s barley belt.