In 1995, Chris White, Ph.D., a home brewer and winemaker studying for his degree in biochemistry, founded White Labs in San Diego, Calif. The company’s specialty is high-quality, liquid yeast strains that set new standards in purity and freshness when it comes to fermenting beer, wine, cider, and beyond. Today, it has more than 150 employees in three locations, including San Diego; Asheville, N.C.; and Copenhagen, Denmark.

“We help people make better wine and beer with more flavor.” —Chris White, White Labs [Photo by Katie Gardner]

White Labs offers 69 core yeast strains that are grown weekly and available year-round, as well as a collection of specialty strains, known as vault strains. It also offers custom services with private strain banking, analytical services, and specialty wine strains. “We help people make better wine and beer with more flavor,” says White.

The company propagates liquid yeast, wild yeast and bacteria cultures. It also offers independent analytical lab testing that’s separate from the White Labs internal yeast production laboratory. “We have a tap room in San Diego, where people can taste the same base beer brewed with different yeast strains,” says White. “Then we expanded to Asheville and opened White Labs Kitchen & Tap, a brewpub that focuses on fermentation. It lets us experiment even more while educating the public to the overall impact yeast has on beer.”

This educational component expands into seminars focused on fermentation and yeast information for brewers, distillers, and winemakers. There are webinars and in-person classes, including those for both owners and bar employees who want to expand their expertise.

“Thank you to those who voted,” says White. “We really appreciate your support. It takes a big team to do what we do.”