As well as its role in brewing and bread making, yeast can be used in biorefineries to make biofuels for transport and is a key model organism in synthetic biology. Engineered strains could produce future foods and pharmaceuticals. No wonder the National Collection of Yeast Cultures has some interesting stories, as explained by this video from the BBSRC.
The yeast collection was first founded in 1948 when British brewers realised the value of their yeast cultures wanted to keep them secure. It then evolved into a broader collection, including food spoilage yeast able to evade conventional food preservatives.
More information is available on the BBSRC website