We're Turning 25!
Can you believe we're turning 25 this year?! It seems like just yesterday we were navigating this new business venture at a time when not many people knew that liquid brewing yeast existed, and pitchable liquid yeast wasn't even available until WLP001 California Ale Yeast® came onto the market. Fast-forward to today, where liquid brewing yeast is readily available worldwide and we're producing more than 69 strains weekly.
It's been an incredible adventure. We've been lucky to meet (and work alongside) some of the greatest brewers and minds in the industry. We're constantly inspired by the passion that comes out of this community and are in complete awe of the talent and no-holds-barred powerhouses that continue to push the limits of beer. Push the limits of fermentation. It's been nothing short of inspiring and we're grateful that you've been with us throughout the years, and that you've allowed us to be part of your journey as well.
To thank our loyal customers (YOU), we’re giving away trips to this year’s Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in San Antonio, TX; Homebrew Con in Nashville, TN; and the Great American Beer Festival® in Denver, CO; as part of our “25 Anniversary Share Your Story Contest.” We’re also giving away prize packs every month during our social media sweepstakes.
White Labs was founded in 1995 by Chris White after graduating from the University of California, San Diego, with a Ph.D. in biochemistry. While Chris was in school, he befriended and learned how to make beer with homebrewers who would become some of the world’s greatest professional brewers. They needed a better supply of yeast, so he began producing pitchable quantities of liquid brewer's yeast at a time when pure cultures were not readily available. Chris later began propagating liquid yeast for homebrew stores and other professional brewers.
“When we first opened in San Diego craft beer was in its early days,” said Chris. “You had a few established breweries sprinkled here and there, but overall, there wasn’t a lot. That’s honestly been one of my favorite things about this journey. Not only are you part of such a close-knit community that pushes each other to succeed, but because of that shared love and passion of the craft, we’ve gotten to watch the industry grow. And not even just in the U.S., but across the world.”
Since providing the first liquid pitchable yeast on the market 25 years ago, we’ve continued to be a leader in the industry. In 2014, we introduced our patented FlexCell™ technology and PurePitch® packaging, limiting the yeasts’ exposure to the environment and oxygen while allowing us to deliver high-quality lab-grown yeast to breweries worldwide.
One year later, we opened our first international location, White Labs Copenhagen, that has since grown to provide 100% certified organic yeast to customers. Soon after, we secured a third-party distribution warehouse in Hong Kong, marking our first official venture in the Asian market. We continued to expand our footprint in 2017 by opening an East Coast production facility, White Labs Asheville, and brewpub, White Labs Kitchen & Tap, that showcases the delicious art of fermentation in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.
“We have some exciting things planned this year,” said Chris. “On top of celebrating this anniversary with our team and customers throughout the year, we’ve also been working on some product innovations that we’re very much looking forward to announcing in the coming months.”