The basic ingredients for beer include water, malt, hops and yeast, but nobody said you had to buy that yeast in a sterilized packet at the local brewery-supply retailer. The brewers at Australian beermaker 7 Cent Brewery gazed deeply at their navels and came up with the novel idea of crafting a beer from their own personal yeast strains.
The brewery describes Belly Button Beer as "perhaps the first beer in the world fermented from yeast captured from the brewer's belly button fluff." The brewmasters unveiled the tummy-tastic libation in late April.
Several different brewers offered up their belly buttons for swabbing, and the samples grew strong on agar plates. The brewery isolated the yeast colonies from those plates and grew them into quantities sufficient for making some test batches of beer. The best-tasting brew of the three became the official release of Belly Button Beer.
Of course you want to know what this delectable creation tastes like. The brewery dubs it "new world-ish Belgian-ish Witbier with fresh orange zest and toasted coriander seeds." Sounds delightful and not at all gross. The navel yeast "exhibits qualities of Belgian beer with the key characteristics being spiciness, clove and light banana esters."
The idea of drinking a beer associated with an indention in some guy's midsection might be too much for some people to handle. Others will no doubt embrace the booze, which brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "beer belly."
The concept of swabbing people to make unique foodstuffs isn't a new one. Scientists in 2013 crafted a series of artisinal cheeses using bacteria samples taken from human mouths, noses, toes and belly buttons. 7 Cent Brewery also gives an inspirational nod to Rogue Ales' Beard Beer, a brew crafted using beard-derived yeast. Perhaps this will kick off a trend in home-brewing: highly personalized body beers.