What’s shakin, cocktail fans? Welcome to Episode 256 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast!
This time around, we’re joined by food scientist, microbe guru, and television celebrity Faye Johnson (@faye.kj). She captured Eric’s imagination recently, as he listened to her spin mystical tales about the unseen forces at work behind some of our favorite fermented and distilled beverages, so we thought that we’d invite her on the podcast to share some of her microbiological wisdom with you.
In this fascinating conversation with food scientist, distiller, and tamer of yeast, Faye Johnson of Bellemara Distillery, some of the topics we cover include:
- How Faye’s childhood exposure to fermented foods and her formal experience testing foods for harmful microorganisms led her to hop-scotch her way through the worlds of cake decorating, cheese making, brewing, and distilling.
- What it’s like to receive samples bearing live, native yeasts in the mail and then test those samples for viable applications in the brewing and distilling world as part of Bootleg Biology’s “Local Yeast Project.”
- How she used her expertise to save a Mid-West brewery from dreaded “flavor drift” by locating and scientifically isolating the precise yeast strain that made their product famous in the first place.
- And what it’s like to compete on a national stage as a contestant on a recent episode of Moonshiners Master Distiller.
- Along the way, we cover how to come to terms with any fears you might have about microorganisms, the ways in which microbial communities working together are like a crowd cheering at a concert, what to do if Faye calls you, “toffee honey biscuit,” and much, much more.