Beer Biology 101

STEM Café teams up with Two Brothers Brewing Company for July 15 presentation

Mmmmmm ... Two Brothers beer ...How do breweries produce the same beer, batch after batch, pint after pint, without variations in flavor and color?

Flavor is both an art and a science, and it turns out that there’s a highly trained biologist behind every bottle of your favorite beer.

From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, NIU’s STEM Café and Two Brothers Brewing Company will present “Beer Biology” at Two Brothers Roundhouse (205 N. Broadway in Aurora). At this follow-up to last year’s blockbuster “Science of Beer” event, Eric Scherzer, NIU alum and quality control manager for Two Brothers, will give a lively presentation about the chemical reactions, yeast metabolism and flavor production that contribute to the creation of your favorite brews

The program is free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase. Two Brothers also will offer complimentary beer samples to attendees who are 21 and older.

Two Brothers is the largest independently owned and operated craft brewer in Chicagoland. Jim and Jason Ebel founded the brewery in 1997 and have dedicated themselves to creating artisan beers from their headquarters in Warrenville and the historic Roundhouse in Aurora.

Mmm ... Two Brothers beer ...Head of quality control at Two Brothers since 2007, Scherzer graduated from NIU in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and later earned a degree in brewing science from the Siebel Institute of Technology.

Scherzer’s love of biology and his hobby of brewing were the perfect combination for pursuing a career at Two Brothers. “I have always been interested in cell and molecular biology,” he says, “though getting my hands dirty was much more fun.”

He will discuss the biology, chemistry, physics and engineering involved in beer production. He will focus on the science required to produce consistent beer on a large scale, when even slight variations in the production process can affect flavor. “Making beer is easy. Making the same beer over and over is hard,” Scherzer says.

For more information on upcoming STEM Cafés and other events from NIU STEM Outreach, contact Judith Dymond at (815) 753-4751 or jdymond@niu.edu.

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