About US


our Story

The company's name "Lachancea" (pronounced la.chance.ee.ah), refers to the name of the unique yeast species at the heart of this company.


John Sheppard, Ph.D.

Founder, Co-inventor, and Chief Executive Officer

John Sheppard, Ph.D. brings with him more than 20 years of industry brewing experience. As a professor of brewing sciences at North Carolina State University, he was part of the first team to discover that this yeast species could produce such valuable beers and fermented beverages. He has worked extensively with this yeast species to understand optimal conditions and recipes for the production of specific characteristics across fermentation scales and products.

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Anne A. Madden, Ph.D.

Co-inventor & Chief Scientific Officer

Anne A. Madden, Ph.D. is a thought leader in the field of using natural, wild microorganisms for human applications. She brings over a decade of experience discovering and unlocking the power of microorganisms as a microbiologist and yeast wrangler in academic and industry settings. She is the scientist who developed the pipeline that lead to the discovery of these yeasts from insects. She is also an experienced science communicator as a published scientist and a public speaker who has presented at corporations, universities, and conferences across the globe, including at multiple TEDx conferences and on the TED main stage.


Bill Zimmer

Chief Operating Officer

Bill Zimmer is a brewery founder, an experienced enterprise salesman, and an entrepreneur. He brings with him the experience of founding and running the successful North Carolina brewery, Ecusta Brewing Co. He uniquely understands customer challenges from both the business and brewing sides of the industry and makes sure Lachancea’s natural yeast technology meets these needs.

Along with a growing team, we work with brewers, world-wide distributers, and fermentation-lovers to develop implementation plans that best suit our clients' needs across brewing scales, fields, and products.

The story of Wasp Beer

These yeasts were first found in paper wasps and bumble bees by researchers Drs. John Sheppard, Rob Dunn, and Anne Madden at North Carolina State University who were trying to highlight the applications of wild microbial diversity.

What they discovered was so much more than just another wild yeast.

The researchers uncovered a species of yeast that had never been used in commercial beer brewing. The unique biology of this yeast allows it to produce flavorful beers, ciders, and distilled ferments with unique properties, such as a scalable sour beer--without bacteria--in record time. From these humble origins we have expanded to provide yeasts, tools and services to help fermenters produce better, innovative products and services.

Where can we get these yeast?!
— Patrons at 100% of the beer festivals where Wasp or Bumble Beer has been served.

Beers from this yeast have been featured at the 2014 and 2016 World Beer Festival in Raleigh, N.C. These yeasts have now been used for commercial beer production in North America and Japan where they have helped breweries and cider makers win awards across multiple categories. 

In 2016, Lachancea LLC obtained the rights to license this species for brewing. Now you have the opportunity to join in the adventure of these insect yeasts.