"Mini evolution experiments" and the delicious science of beer

Your refreshing cold one is also a microbial work of art

Published September 9, 2014 3:58PM (EDT)


If you haven't been able to make it to a local brewery to experience the incredible -- and tasty -- science of beer, don't despair. Joe Hanson from "It's Okay to be Smart" brings the tour, and an extended science lesson, to you. (Beer not included.)

In his latest video, Hanson explores the art and science of beer making at Jester King Brewery, in Austin, Texas. The essential equation for beer is "grain + hops + yeast + water = alcohol + CO2 + beery goodness," Hansen explains. But at this brewery, there is the added bonus of beer "made by complex populations of both yeast and bacteria, competing and cooperating, mutating and swapping genes in order to create flavors that are impossible to predict."

It is a "mini evolution experiment" in a glass. Watch and learn below:

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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