Saccharomyces eubayanus was described less than 10 years ago and its discovery settled the long-lasting debate on the origins of the cold-tolerant yeast responsible for lager beer fermentation. The largest share of the genetic diversity of S. eubayanus is located in South America, and strains of this species have not yet been found in Europe. One or more hybridization events between S. eubayanus and S. cerevisiae ale beer strains gave rise to S. pastorianus, the allopolyploid yeasts responsible for lager beer production worldwide. The identification of the missing progenitor of lager yeast opened new avenues for brewing yeast research. It allowed not only the selective breeding of new lager strains, but revealed also a wild yeast with interesting brewing abilities so that a beer solely fermented by S. eubayanus is currently on the market.

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