The science of beer and wine

Media releases, National Science Week

National Science Week gets on the sauce, with events exploring brewing with algae, beers of the future, and the sensory secrets of pinot noir.

  • How will beer taste in the future?—Melbourne
  • What do algae have to do with beer making?—Sydney
  • Where does your pinot get its flavour and aroma from? Ask a wine scientist (yes, that is a real thing!)
  • What can four different brews teach you about the science of beer?—Hobart
  • Can you brew a decent beer using a wild yeast caught from a backyard in Darwin?

These are just a few of the intoxicating events happening across Australia during National Science Week (August 15 to 23).

If you’re after more great ideas for highly visual stories, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists, brewers and event organisers are available for interview throughout National Science Week.

Individual event details and media contacts

Brewing futures—VIC

How will climate change impact beer production? In years to come, will drinkers still like their ales and lagers?

Join Jon Seltin, head brewer from the Brick Lane Brewing Company, for a spot of beer tasting and to hear his thoughts on the future of brewing.

Pre-booking for this event is essential, because part of the fun is exploring the Brewing Futures tasting kit, which will be mailed out so participants can raise a glass with Jon in real time.

The session also includes a virtual, behind-the-scenes brewery tour, exploring emerging brewing technologies and trends, and examining the important raw ingredients.

Friday 21 August. Event details

Jon Seltin is available for interviews.

Beer & algae: brewing a greener future—Sydney, NSW

Did you know that the carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation of a six-pack of beer takes a tree two full days to absorb? So can we make beer carbon neutral?

Independent brewery Young Henrys were on a mission to tackle their carbon emissions, when they came across the Climate Change Cluster (C3) the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Together they’ve developed a way to use algae to efficiently convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.

This online event takes audiences into the heart of the brewery co-founder and director Oscar McMahon and UTS researcher Dr Janice McCaughly. Find out how the fusion of brewing science and climate change innovation led to an Australian-first, and discover how one humble organism algae is changing the future of our planet.

Thursday 20 August. Event details

Chemical and sensory comparison of Australian pinot noir wines—TAS

August 18 is International Pinot Noir Day – which might prompt the question: does it matter where your wine comes from?

Wine scientist Dr Rocco Longo from the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture conducted a pinot noir tasting study. He found there are differences in the chemistry, flavour and aroma of wines depending on the region from which they originate.

Rocco’s webinar, ‘Chemical and Sensory Comparison of Australian Pinot Noir Wines: A Preliminary Study’, in which he shares his findings will be launched online, fittingly enough, on August 18, and will be available until August 23.  

Tuesday 18 – Sunday 23 August. Event details

Science Made Beerable—Hobart, TAS

Four breweries and four brews: each demonstrating a different aspect of the science of beer.

Science Made Beerable – a partnership between thirsty scientists Kelsey Picard and Matt Fielding – is taking this hop-portunity to make you weiser to ale the science that gose into a brew with a live-streamed beer tasting event.

Four breweries—Hobart Brewing Company, Shambles Brewery, OCHO Beer and Van Dieman brewing—have put forward a beer they think highlights some of the science that goes into a brew. Brewers from these ale-makers will explain more.

You can order your four-pack to drink along at home, as Picard, Fielding and their brewer friends delve into how each beer is made, what sets them apart, and how science is integral to every step of the process.

Visit the Facebook page to find out more and learn about the science behind the brews.

Wednesday 19 August. Event details

At yeast there’ll be beer—Darwin, NT

Without yeast, beer would just be bitter, sugary water. This talk is all about what different yeasts do, where they come from and the perils of trying to make beer with a wild yeast we captured in a Darwin backyard.

Afterwards, there will be tastings of the same beer made with different yeasts, including a truly local Darwin brew.

Saturday 15 August. Event details

About National Science Week

National Science Week is one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year 1.5 million people participated in more than 2050 events around the country, in metropolitan, regional and remote locations.

In 2020, the festival is almost entirely virtual, online, DIY and well-spaced. This means most events, large and small, is open to anyone, no matter where they live.

National Science Week 2020 will run from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at, public event listings at