Non-conventional yeast: key to beer innovation?

Low-alcohol beverages and alcohol-free beers are more trending than ever before. Conventionally, brewers’ yeast is used as pure culture to convert the wort sugars into alcohol, carbon dioxide and flavors. In her PhD research project, Irma van Rijswijck investigated the potential of non-conventional yeast species using various inoculation strategies.

These non-conventional yeast species poorly convert the wort sugars into alcohol but produce abundant  flavor compounds. Co-cultivation of non-conventional yeast species with the conventional brewers’ yeast was demonstrated to be a successful and novel strategy to obtain low alcoholic beverages with an aroma profile that is enriched with fruity flavors. By varying the ratio of yeasts in such co-cultivations, the final product composition and sensory characteristics can be further fine-tuned to consumer preferences.