Although mainly known for their role in wine spoilage, Brettanomyces
yeasts have been increasingly recognized as having beneficial effects on fermented
beverages. These microorganisms can, for instance, increase flavor complexity, a
property that can be controlled by understanding the physiological, genetic, and
biochemical traits of Brettanomyces species in fermentation processes. Moreover, their
genetic diversity, exceptional stress and low-pH tolerance, and peculiar metabolism
suggest great potential for bioethanol production. This chapter summarizes the most
notable features of Brettanomyces, briefly highlights recent insights into their genetic
characteristics, and discusses potential applications in industrial fermentation
processes, such as for the production of specialty beers, wines, and bioethanol.
Keywords: Acetic acid, Aroma, Beer, Bioethanol, Bioprocess, Crabtree effect, Custers effect, Fermentation, Oak barrel, Off-flavor, Spoilage yeast, Volatile phenol, Wine.