Science of Beer

A beer event for Swiss alumni that will brew your mind! This event will challenge your perception of the beer industry.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


February 20, 2015 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)


Free, request an invite (for alumni of Swiss higher education institutions only):

Ever wondered what makes a beer taste hoppy, malty, or bitter? Want to know why microbrewing and the craft movement are revolutionizing the beer market?

Join other Swiss Alumni and students from the Swiss School of Engineering and Business Vaud (HEIG-VD) for a suds-filled evening all about beer. From yeast and hops and fermentation to an analysis of beer’s place in society, this event explores the science of beer and its foamy pathway into taps, hands, and bellies.

This event is part of a HEIG-VD innovation study tour to Silicon Valley and courtesy of HEIG-VD.


6:30 pm  doors open
7:00 pm  UC Davis Prof. Charles Bamforth takes us on a historical tour of beer
7:15 pm  Giga Yeast CEO and Microbiologist Jim Withee reveals the secret ingredient of a good beer
7:30 pm  Morgan Cox, co-owner of Ale Industries, dives into the entrepreneurial aspects of beer
7:45 pm  audience Q&A
8:00 pm  networking reception with food and of course beer
9:30 pm  doors close


Charles Bamforth

Prof. Charles Bamforth is an Anheuser-Busch endowed professor of Brewing Science at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling at UC Davis. He has passionately taught and researched brewing since 1999, focusing on malting and brewing science and its influence on human culture.

“Brewing is mankind’s oldest biotechnology and nowadays it is a sophisticated operation, drawing on an in-depth understanding derived from a range of scientific disciplines,” Bamforth says. “Yet it retains the charm of an art form appreciated by billions of people the world over.”


Jim Withee

Jim Withee is a microbiologist and the founder, CEO, chief scientist, and head janitor of GigaYeast Laboratory, Inc., a startup commercial yeast lab in Belmont, California. Withee envisioned Giga Yeast as part of the craft beer and home brew movement, using the skills and love for yeast and fermentation he cultivated for over 20 years of science and beer.

As a young graduate student he received a PhD for studies on yeast genetics and after graduate school he worked at the Saccharomyces Genome Database. After years of work as a Government Scientist he quit and built the GigaYeast Laboratory. Since 2011 Giga Yeast has supplied both professional and home brewers to create their own unique beer.

Morgan Cox

On Morgan Cox’s 18th birthday his neighbor gave him Charlie Papazian’s first book, The Joy of Home Brewing, encouraging his passion for beer and home brewing. By the time Cox was 22, he had left his job as a bookbinder and started his apprenticeship to eventually become Brew Master of EJ Phair, in Concord, CA. He held that position for eight years until he and his friend, Stephen Lopas, founded Ale Industries in 2009.

Bringing his personal ethos to his business, Cox designed and built a boiler that is powered by waste veggie oil, which they collect from their local accounts. Morgan and his team love to experiment with new beers and processes, challenging even their own concept of what beer can be.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos