Oregon Brewing Up a State Microbe

Saccharomyces cerevisiae , or beer yeast, would be first state microbe

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 21, 2013 9:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – US states have official flags and official flowers, but Oregon could become the first to have a state microbe—and a delicious microbe, at that. Oregon's microbe of choice is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae, better known as ale yeast, and the bill's sponsor hopes the measure will show appreciation for the $2.4 billion that craft-brewing brings to Oregon each year, reports Popular Science. In fact, Portland purports to have more brew houses than any other city in the world, says NPR.

So far the bill has passed Orgeon's House 58-0, and now it heads to the Senate. The Oregonian is already kicking around potential names for a microbial political action committee, with SAC PAC of SIX PAC making the cut. Wisconsin, incidentally, tried to get its own state microbe in 2010—the Lactococcus lactis, the bacterium used to make cheese and buttermilk—but the measure curdled in the state Senate.

A measure in Oregon is trying to turn beer yeast into the state's official microbe.
A measure in Oregon is trying to turn beer yeast into the state's official microbe.   (Shutterstock)
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