Beer is as old as civilization—maybe older. Written records of beer date back at least to the fifth millennium BC in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, but scientists speculate that beer might date back to 9500 BC, when cereal was first farmed. Beer may in fact have invented itself without the help of people since almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation. It could have happened when some grain got wet and fermented by chance. The Ancient Sumerians are widely given credit for successfully reproducing the process and their hymn to their beer goddess, Ninkasi, is also a recipe for making beer.
Archeologists still aren’t sure which came first, beer or bread (my money is on beer). But those two inventions are arguably responsible for humanity’s ability to abandon its hunting and gathering ways, develop technology and build civilization.
On July 25, beer lovers will have an opportunity to learn about the science of beer from some of the Bay Area’s best brewers at the California Academy of Sciences’ Science of Brewing NightLifeevent. Featured breweries will include 21st Amendment Brewery, Almanac Beer Co., Anchor Brewing Company, Calicraft Brewing Company, Drake’s Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Mad River Brewing Company, Social Kitchen & Brewery and others. In a presentation called “The Terrior of Beer,” Jesse Friedman of Almanac and Kim Sturdavant of Social Kitchen will discuss the benefits of drinking locally brewed beer made with local ingredients. The legendary Mark Carpenter, who has been at Anchor Brewing since 1971, will supply some local history and you can also explore the discoveries of brewer-astronomer Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687) at 6:30 in the Planetarium, followed by two showings of Earthquake.
In addition to the talks, you’ll be able to sample some of the Bay Area’s finest beers and hob nob with brewers and other people who love beer. Except for drinking beer, beer lovers and professional and amateur brewers like nothing better than talking about beer.
Please note that this event is only open to those who are 21 and older.
Tickets are $12 per person ($10 for Academy members).
What: Science of Brewing NightLife
When: Thursday, July 25
First admission is at 6 p.m.
Where: California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Additional details to be announced at www.calacademy.org/nightlife.