Hattiesburg, Miss. (WHLT) — With the Hattiebsurg Beer Festival around the corner and this week being American Craft Beer week we found out the industry is growing right in our backyard.
As beer laws relax across Mississippi, we’re seeing an increase in breweries popping up across the state. So we got a behind the scenes look inside a yeast company that finds ways to make your beer better.
“There are four ingredients in beer — water, hops, grain and yeast,” said Bill Mowers, CEO of BAC Yeast.
Typically if the beer taste weird when it comes out of the keg, something went wrong with the yeast during its processing causing it to be infected.
“We recently had a company come to us because they didn’t know what was wrong with their beer,” said Michael Ott, BAC Yeast brewer and new markets. “They didn’t know they had a extra little yeast in there that kept eating the sugar, creating more CO2 than they expected and their cans burst.”
This is the only yeast lab in the Southern Region and now that brewers in Mississippi can directly sale to consumers, they want to provide those ‘big guy’ services to small and local breweries.
“Going to those big guys in California takes months to get their stuff, but it also cost twice as much for shipping,” said Mowers. “So us producing it locally, we’re able to get it to them for half the cost. So if they get a stuck fermentation they are able to call us, we can get over there. We can either give them more yeast or do a lab analysis on spot where they can’t get that from the big guys because they would never provide it.”
Employees tell us its like providing quality control.
“Yeast is a living thing and when you ship it half-way across the country stuff can go wrong,” said Ott.
Tyler Hodges, Chief Science Officer tells us each day is different in their laboratory.
“So for some we’re producing the yeast, the bacteria for them. Others we’re doing more of the analytical testing.”
You may be wondering why Yeast is important to the finished product. Well, because of the different strains on the yeast are what makes each beer have its significant taste, such as the difference between a lager or ale.