PORTLAND -- Rogue Ales released a beer Monday made from yeast found in its brewmaster's beard, and the company insists it's not an elaborate April Fool's Day prank.

Beard Beer started as a joke, when the brewery sent in a sample of Brewmaster John Maier's beard to test for a new yeast strain that could be used in beer, according to self-described Rogue Mad Scientist John Couchot. But last June they found out the sample was perfect.

The beer was released Monday in select locations.

No need to freak out, the label assures potential drinkers, brewers have used wild yeasts in beer-making for centuries.

John has had the same old growth beard since 1983 and for over 15,000 brews, Rogue explains, so it is no great surprise that a natural yeast ideal for brewing was discovered in his beard.

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