Brewer Shows Bamboo Not Just for Pandas Anymore

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A Mexican businessman is selling about 600 liters a month of pale ale beer made from bamboo, as a way to promote the versatility of the fast-growing, carbon-capturing plant.

Entrepreneur Mauricio Mora Tello began production in 2012 in Puebla, Mexico, after spending two months in China learning how to make the craft beer.

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Bamboo is a woody grass -- not a tree -- and is the fastest growing plant on Earth. Oddly, the more it's cut the faster it grows. It can be used to make building materials, paper and vinegar -- among other uses -- and as a way to capture carbon. Also, importantly, it makes a pretty decent brew.

"For several months, numerous tests were performed with different varieties of bamboo and different sections of the plant to find the right variety and the part where the extract would be obtained," Mora Tello said.

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"The latter is distilled from the foliage and applied precisely in the part of the beer fermentation prepared with two hops, yeast and wheat malt."

Bambusa plants to double production of the pale ale later this year.