Australian Brewery Makes Beer from Belly Button Lint

Inspired by a brewery in Oregon that used yeast harvested from a man’s beard, an Australian company is launching its own bizarre brew made using the navel fluff of employees. 7 Cent Brewery, in Gisborne South, Victoria is all set to reveal their unique beer at the 2016 Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) festival this month.

“We are really interested to see if the idea of drinking something that originated from a brewer’s belly button is too much for even the most hardened beer geek,” the company’s blog states. “Some say why? We say why not?”

To isolate the yeast strain, co-founders Doug Bremner, Brendan Baker, and Matthew Boustead swabbed their own belly buttons and streaked the collected samples out on agar plates. They allowed the plates to incubate and then “found all sorts of interesting things growing, including what appeared to be colonies of yeast.” Bremner said that the yeast strains were tested to ensure they were sterile. So the beverage might sound disgusting, but is completely safe to consume.


“It’s perfectly safe,” he explained. “We weren’t really sure if we were going to see it work and we were really stoked that it actually did work.”

What about the taste? Well, one might expect it to be salty, but surprisingly, Bremner says it “exhibits qualities of Belgian beer with key characteristics being spiciness, clove, and light banana esters.” They added orange zest and coriander seeds to complement the yeast, along with a “calculated amount of Riwaka and Mosaic hops” to “increase the citrus qualities and give it a refreshing hop kick.” Barley, wheat, oats, and rye were used for body and complexity.


Bemmer, Baker, and Boustead, who were friends before co-founding the brewery, started off by brewing beer for friends and parties. And this isn’t the first time they’re trying something unusual. In the past, they’ve experimented with black clam gose, a German-style sour beer with clams providing the saltiness. If their latest Belly Button Beer gets a good response and GABS, they do plan to release it in pubs across Melbourne.

To those who might find their creations icky, they have only this to say: “Once you get used to the idea that yeast is yeast no matter where you get it from and that the water we drink is really recycled dinosaur urine, then you can just sit back and enjoy the beer… in theory.”


And if 7 Cent Brewery ever runs out of belly button fluff, they can always get in touch with Graham Parker, who has been collecting his navel lint for over 30 years.

Photos: 7 Cent Brewery/Facebook

via 9News