About US


our Story

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

John Sheppard, Ph.D.

Founder, Co-inventor, and CEO, 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. He has worked extensively with this yeast species to understand optimal conditions and recipes for the production of specific characteristics across brewing scales.

Anne A. Madden, Ph.D.

Co-inventor and Chief Strategist, Anne A. Madden, Ph.D. is an engagement leader in the field of using wild microorganisms for human applications. She has experience communicating science and technology to diverse audiences as a former TED and TEDx speaker, a published scientist, and a seasoned presenter. She also brings experience as a yeast wrangler and microbiologist with over a decade of experience in academic and industry settings. She is the initial microbiologist who wrangled the yeast from insects.

Along with a growing team, we work with brewers to develop implementation plans that best suit your clients' needs, across brewing scales.

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 them to produce flavorful beers with unique properties, such as sour beer--without bacteria--in record time.

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 the United States where they have helped breweries win awards across multiple beer 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.