Baudoinia is a big deal for bourbon makers because the fungus is often found growing on the sides of aging warehouses where bourbon is stored. While the fungus is not harmful, it can create a cosmetic issue for the bourbon industry. The appearance of the fungus on the sides of warehouses can be a concern for bourbon makers because it can give the impression that the bourbon has been contaminated or is of low quality. Bourbon makers take great pride in their product and want it to be visually appealing to customers, so the appearance of the fungus can be detrimental to their brand.
In addition to the aesthetic concerns, there are also potential environmental issues associated with the growth of Baudoinia on aging warehouses. The fungus can contribute to the formation of black rain, potentially contaminating nearby water sources and damaging surrounding ecosystems. Its growth can negatively impact the industry’s reputation and potentially lead to environmental concerns. As a result, bourbon makers often take steps to address the issue and prevent the fungus growth on the warehouses.
So what is the fungus? Baudoinia is a type of black yeast that has gained attention due to its ability to grow on surfaces exposed to ethanol vapors. This fungus is named after Thomas Baudoin, a microbiologist who discovered it on buildings in distillery towns in Kentucky and Tennessee in the early 2000s. Baudoinia is commonly found in areas where ethanol is produced, such as distilleries, breweries, and ethanol fuel plants. The fungus can grow on surfaces exposed to ethanol vapors, such as the sides of buildings, trees, and other surfaces.
The fungus produces a dark pigment that can discolor surfaces, leading to black stains on buildings, trees, and other structures. This can result in the degradation of surfaces over time, reducing their lifespan and requiring costly repairs. In addition to aesthetic concerns, environmental concerns are associated with the growth of Baudoinia. The fungus can contribute to the formation of “black rain,” a type of precipitation that contains high levels of ethanol and other pollutants. This can lead to soil and water contamination, harming plants, animals, and humans.