Oregon officially hearts yeast, guys: The state has started the process of naming the beer yeast strain, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as the official state microbe. Because every state should have an official microbe, obviously.
NPR's The Salt blog shares that this little yeast strain has done quite a bit for the craft beer industry in Oregon; the Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain is what converts sugar into alcohol. (It's not the same one used to in the Rogue Brewery's "beard brew," thankfully.) The motion to recognize the microbe has come from Republican state legislator Mark Johnson from Hood River, Ore. Said Johnson to The Salt about the microbe, it's a microbe that's responsible for lots of good food products that come from Oregon — bread, cheese, distilled spirits. Johnson said, "It's the bedrock of a lot of fun and enjoyable products." But its contribution to the craft beer industry, worth about $2.4 billion, is what helped get this microbe its official status.
The measure, which passed the House Rules Committee unanimously last week, is headed to the full Oregon House of Representatives for a vote this week. From a state that already has a state nut (hazelnut) and a state fruit (pear), we can't imagine this microbe won't get its full recognition. Let's all pick up a Rogue ale, or another one of the best Oregon beers around, for a toast.