World's "most popular beverage" might have roots in Patagonia

15th century Bavarian lager beer may have an unlikely parentage: a blend of German yeast with one found in the beech forests of Patagonia in southern Argentina, and brought to Germany aboard European ships.

A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that a native yeast of South America stowed away on the ships of European explorers, possibly in wood or fruit flies, bounded with the native yeast of Bavaria producing "the clear, cold-fermented beer first brewed by 15th century Bavarians and that today is among the most popular — if not the most popular — alcoholic beverage in the world."