The Brewers’ Yeast

by C.E. Lieberman

Those microscopic beings

We fondly call our yeast,

When in brewery wort they’re pitched,

Enjoy a luscious feast.

It’s odd when they are finished

There’re few of them deceased;

What’s even more amazing--

Their numbers have increased.

* * *

Though trillions of these beings,

We simply term them "yeast,"

Which seems as wrong as saying

A "goose" when we mean "geese."

We think of them as animal,

A vegetable or beast--

Confusing bits of knowledge

Most difficult to piece.

* * *

Sec, too, is disconcerting

About our precious yeast;

Should we call the young’uns "nephews"

Or settle for just "niece?"

Nutrictious little buddies,

They tend toward the obese;

But to we careful brewers

They are our "Golden Fleece."

* * *

Symmetric tiny ovals,

They hardly show a crease.

No dorsal, ventral, head or tail;

They don’t know west from east.

Like cultures and philosophies

In Rome or Athens, Greece,

They’re solids and have substance,

But known by gas release.

* * *

Strains and many characters,

As found in "War and Peace,"

We save the more desirable

And discard those liked least.

Though motives may be selfish,

We’ll keep them well policed,

‘Cause if they’d give up working

Our jobs would also cease.

* * *

Published in Brewers Digest. January, 1957.

(copyright 1957 C.E. Lieberman)


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