Student’s PhD Work Will Save Beer from Spoiling

Monique Haakensen, a 26-year-old PhD candidate from the University of Saskatchewan may just be the beer industry’s next savior. As you may or may not know, The University of Saskatchewan is home to one of only two labs in the world that studies beer spoilage — enter Haakensen. According to Montreal’s The West Island Chronicle,

Haakensen has helped discover three new methods of detecting beer-spoiling bacteria, including a DNA-based technique, that has big breweries around the globe hoisting pints in celebration.

Haakensen explains that her findings will allow breweries to figure out in a matter of one to two days if a batch of beer will spoil, allowing breweries to get more beer onto the market faster and to save on their lab costs.

Through her research, Monique has discovered two new genes involved in beer spoilage and three new groups of bacteria that can ruin beer. But how did she come across the naughty bacteria? Why, her brothers’ failed homebrew of course. Says The Chronicle,

The new types of bacteria were found with the unwitting help of her younger brothers a couple years ago while they were also attending the University of Saskatchewan. Too cheap to buy their own beer, the boys made some home brew and offered her a glass.

The beer, smelling like cheese with sludge on the bottom, was too disgusting to drink, Haakensen says.

“So I stole a bunch of bottles of their beer and brought it back here.”

Unfortunately for Haakensen, she’s afraid her career in beer with soon conclude along with her PhD studies. But there’s no doubt that breweries and Fresh Beer Fans the world over should be thanking her for her findings. To read more about Haakensen and her efforts to prevent spoiled beer, click here to read the original Chronicle article.

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