'Science of Beer' goes on tap in Durham

CorrespondentSeptember 11, 2013 


Fullsteam Brewery part timer Jack Crowley puts another freshly bottled case of Hula Hoop craft beer on a pallet load Wednesday morning, Sept. 4, 2013 during a morning Hula Hoop craft beer bottling run at the downtown Durham, NC brewery. Fullsteam Brewery, in production for the past three years at 726 Rigsbee Ave. in Durham produces a number of craft and seasonal beers for triangle customers with a current production capacity of three thousand barrels per year.

HARRY LYNCH — hlynch@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Beer lovers who wonder how to turn barley into malt or why bubbles in a glass of Guinness sink instead of rise can find answers Thursday at the Museum of Life and Science.

At the fourth annual Science of Beer event, local scientists and brewers will come together to teach what’s behind the making and enjoyment of beer.

Museum visitors will sip beer from 15 local breweries while learning how the shape of glassware affects a beer’s taste, and whether carbon dioxide or nitrogen creates a better beer head.

The event is part of the Museum AfterHours series, which allows adults to enjoy the museum without having to push strollers or run after their children, said Adrienne Testa, a master teacher at the museum.

“This is kind of a way for adults to come and play with other adults,” she said. “And it’s a chance for them to indulge in their inner nerd.”

Raleigh-based Gizmo Brew Works will etch the bottom of beer glasses with a high-powered laser, creating a spot where aroma-altering bubbles form, and talk about glassware shapes.

John D. Sheppard, a professor who manages N.C. State University’s brewery, and graduate students will use foam stability testing apparatus on beer samples to discover how long the drinks keep their heads.

The university’s brewery lab supports the state’s many craft breweries through its research, answering questions and testing the purity of a brewery’s yeast or a beer’s alcohol percentage. The brewers show students their operations.

“There’s still a lot of room to grow, but North Carolina is definitely the hub for craft breweries in the Southeast,” Sheppard said.

Among the demonstrations will be Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery exploring the factors involved in yeast growth, and Bull City Burger and Brewery showing how salt balances bitterness.

The Duke Institute for Brain Science will have a 3-D simulation detailing how alcohol travels through the body. Also, food trucks will be parked outside.

The event is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $15 for museum members. For tickets, call 919-220-5429, or go to lifeandscience.org.

Upcoming events in the AfterHours series include a session with Duke’s Institute for Brain Science on Oct. 17 and Science of Eats on Feb. 20.

Jones: jamiekennedyjones@gmail.com

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