Yeast, Science Beer Tasting, and Games User Research!SOLD OUT!
If you didn’t get tickets, console yourself by going to NN East Bay on 7/29.

Wednesday, 7/17/2013
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$8 (some tix may become available at the door due to no-shows or people leaving partway through)
Attn underage nerds: This event
is 21+ because BEER. Sorry.

Facebook event

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!


“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


“Science Beer” Tasting with Bryan 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
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


“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.


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.


Food by Retro Wagon – Old-School Food Done Now