From the HBD Archive
From: (Mark Stevens) <>
Subject: viruses in beer?
Date: 1989-11-28 15:21:18 GMT

Mary Albini writes:
"will this beer harbor viruses?"

Beer is generally a very poor carrier of diseases. In "Malting and Brewing
Science" by Hough, Briggs, Stevens, and Young, there is a chapter on
Microbiological Contamination (Chapter 21). To quote from this chapter,
"Pathogenic micro-organisms fail to grow in beer, or even survive for
extended periods." The book goes on to say that there is only a narrow
range of microorganisms that can survive a short time in beer, among these
yeasts, a few bacteria that produce those nasty off-flavors, and some

Viruses can only replicate in certain types of single cells, and its highly
improbable that any virus can grow in a beer. If you're reeally worried
about it though, let the batch age a little longer and let the alcohol
kill off whatever might be lingering.
- --Mark Stevens
STScI, Baltimore, Maryland

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