NERD NITE SF #38: Yeast, Science Beer Tasting, and Games User Research!

NERD NITE SF #38: Yeast, Science Beer Tasting, and Games User Research!

We guarantee you won't be crying in your beer after this month's event! What could be better than getting a rich, frothy head on the history of yeast, beering up in the name of science, and then helping brew up better video games? Be there and be square! ALSO, WE ARE 21+ THIS MONTH!

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"The Drunken Alchemist: 5,000 Years Under the Influence of Yeast" by Jim Withee

The mysterious transformation of sugar into delicious food and drink has been a cornerstone of human culture for over 5,000 years. Fermentation produces alcohol (yahoo!), but it also has had profound impacts on our culture, religion, science, and public health. Yeast continues to fuel modern brewing, with over 300 strains creating unique flavors and aromas.

Jim founded GigaYeast, Inc., to be a part of the craft beer and homebrew movement using his skills and love for fermentation. He has a PhD in yeast genetics and worked on the Saccharomyces Genome Database, where brewer's yeast DNA was first sequenced.

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"Science Beer" Tasting with Brian Hermannsson, Jim Withee, and a panel of suds experts

Three beers enter, one leaves as the official Bay Area Science Festival beer! We'll have three science beers to sample, with only one difference among them: the yeast strain. You will taste 'em and vote for the winner, which will go into full production this fall. GigaYeast provided the yeast, Pac Brew Lab brewed the beers, and we assembled a panel of expert judges to provide their professional critiques.

Brewer: Bryan Hermannsson, owner/head brewer, Pacific Brewing Laboratory
Yeast Manufacturer: Jim Withee, founder, CEO, chief scientist, head janitor, GigaYeast, Inc.
The Yeasts:
- NorCal Ale, a famous California Pale Ale strain
- Kölsch Bier, developed by old breweries in Germany
- Golden Pear Belgian, which originated the Belgian Golden Strong ale style
Tasting Panel:
- Ken Weaver, certified beer judge, beer writer/editor
- Betsy Mason, senior science editor and beer reporter, WIRED
- and one more panelist TBA

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"Red Barrels Explode: A Look into Videogame User Research" by Rich Ridlen

Ever shot a red barrel to kill a bunch of enemies, but then it didn't explode? Ever killed everybody in a level, but couldn't figure out what to do next? Ever feel stupid that a puzzle took you an hour? Well, there's an entire industry of people who say it's not your fault. Games user research seeks to make games as entertaining as possible by understanding how players interact with them. Get the ultimate power-up with this primer on the field!

Rich is founder and senior games user researcher at Game Lab, EA's usability department. He's been working in research for 12 years, trying his hand at a myriad of methods. He enjoys spending time with his wife, cat, and dog, and will talk your ear off about all things Whedon.

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DJ Alpha Bravo mans the decks, spinning vinyl and tweeting along to the presentations' themes. Find out what you're listening to by following @djalphabravo.

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Food by Retro Wagon - Old-School Food Done Now, retrowagonsf.com

$8.00

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NERD NITE IS 21+ FOR THIS MONTH ONLY!

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NERD NITE SF #38: Yeast, Science Beer Tasting, and Games User Research!

Wednesday, July 17 · 7:00 PM at Rickshaw Stop

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