Carved by nature and untouched by man, the mystical wilds of Patagonia beckon explorers seeking to better understand planet Earth. For one such adventurer, Argentine biologist Diego Libkind, IPATEC (conicet-UNCo), a walk in the Patagonia woods to collect wild yeasts led to a ground-breaking scientific discovery—one that would transform the world of craft beer.
What Libkind came across in the forest was the ball-shaped fruiting body of Cyttaria, an edible fungus found only in the southern hemisphere. The wild mushroom’s faint alcoholic aroma led the scientist to believe that yeast was locked inside. What Libkind didn’t realize at the time, however, was that his serendipitous find answered an age-old beer brewing question: What ever happened to the mother of all lager yeasts?
On the other side of the world in the Netherlands, Libkind’s discovery sparked another quest; this one by Heineken global master brewer Willem van Waesberghe to “tame” the wild yeast and brew a completely new series of craft beer. The result is H41, named for the latitude of Bariloche, Argentina—Libkind’s hometown and the place where the rare yeast was found. Imbued with the wild spirit and earthy, spiced flavors of Argentine Patagonia, H41 is the first in Heineken’s Limited Edition Wild Lager Series of craft beers. H41 is available in NYC.
Watch National Geographic’s A Wild Lager Story, to retrace the forest-to-tap journey of H41, and to meet the adventurers whose shared passion for discovery solved a mystery—forever bridging the gap between ales and lager beers.
- Nat Geo Expeditions