Wyeast Laboratories, Inc.
Decades of Experience
The History of Wyeast Laboratories, Inc.
Fermentation & Freda
Carrying a bushel of wine grapes for her mother during a hurricane, founder Jenny Kreft recalls a wild first run-in with fermentation early on.
A food science degree and QC lab, process research, & stock culture program experience in the Willamette Valley builds a foundation for the future.
Wyeast Lab Opens
Wyeast opens to the craft brewing world. Pioneers of the original pitchable liquid yeast for professional and home brewers. Yeast selection soars.
Craft Beer Explosion
With just 124 breweries in the US the year prior, a surge in craft beer takes off. A thousand new breweries open over the next decade.
The Wyeast family expands in triplicate. Sisters Alisa, Katrina, & Tamara are involved while growing up & return as adults to the family business.
New Production Space
After 15 years, a fire, & three locations, a new lab & production space is built from scratch for 12 employees & ready for business.
The very first seasonal strains are released, originally named the Very Special Strains. 2 decades later the Private Collection continues.
Activator Smack Pack
After 20 years as the Propagator, the Activator “Smack Pack” System is released for homebrewers. The first and only proof-in-package yeast to date.
As the craft beer industry reaches nearly 6,000 breweries and brewpubs, Wyeast expands capacity to fulfill the demand for liquid yeast & cultures.
A New Phase
With 40 employees keeping operations humming, a brand-new facility is built next door to expand shipping, retail, & office space.
The legend of Wyeast
The name Wyeast means a lot to our region, because it is said to be the legendary name of Mount Hood. According to local Native American legend, there was an epic battle between two brothers, Wy’east and Klickitat, over the beautiful Loowit. The struggle was so fierce that the Great Spirit transformed them all into mountains. Klickitat became Mt. Adams, Loowit became Mount St. Helens, and Wy’east became Mt. Hood. While many variations of the story have been told and the true origin of the name shrouded by history, we take the heritage of the region to heart with our own story of “Why-Yeast”.
A place for explorers
From Lewis and Clark to modern adventurers, curious minds have long been drawn to Hood River. Those exploring the possibilities offered by hops, malts, grapes and apples have inspired our love for variety and experimentation. This has led us to create an extensive collection of yeast strains and fermentation products over the last 35 years. In that time, we’ve helped feed the minds and nurture the success of some of the world’s most inventive craft beverage makers.
We don’t have customers, we have partners
To us, each client is our partner and our neighbor. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Portland, Pensacola, or Perth; we love to build relationships with everyone with whom we do business. If you’re having a problem, we’ll help you work through it. If you have a dream, we’ll help you create it. As a key figure in the craft beverage revolution, we’ve spent 35 years helping to change the landscape of the industry for the better, and we look forward to the next 35.
Quality is everything
We believe that your passion deserves to be rewarded. Every time you invest your time and resources, you expect uncompromised results. That’s why we put so much energy and dedication into creating the finest fermentation products available. We go to great lengths to ensure that our yeast strains are thriving when they hit your wort, and that they reliably deliver the flavor and character you desire.