If you are wondering why Kew Garden is on a beer blog then you should read on because they have worked up a state of the union for the fungi of the world and it touches upon beer in a few different ways even though the surface has hardly been scratched when it comes to the world of fungus.
Per their report, “Only 56 species have had their conservation status globally evaluated – compmared to 25,452 plants and 68,054 animals.”. Considering that yeast falls into this category, beer folks should be paying attention. Fungi can be mushrooms or medicine and apparently are more animal than plant.
That last one probably got your attention but the list of effects on beer is potentially long:
– they cycle nutrients. Hops and barley need nutrients to grow.
– they can break down plastic. The cups at festivals could be eaten up and not tossed away.
– they can create bio-fuels. The delivery trucks could be powered by them.
– they create bread and cheese, soy sauce, citric acid
Who knows what more science can find in fungi that will impact beer in the years to come.