Welcome to Nerd Nite Los Angeles! We’re so excited that you’ve discovered our community’s nerdy little corner of LA. We are Nerd Nite (like TED Talks or the Discovery Channel + beer), Drinking & Dragons (live, improv-ed DnD), and Nerd Nite Out (community-building). Check out what we’re up to at one of our upcoming events!

We all know that learning is more fun when you’re drinking with friends and colleagues. Thus, Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in more than 100 cities across the globe during which several folks give 20-minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along. It’s like TED Talks…but with beer.


NERD NITE — Tuesday, February 20th at Brewyard Beer Company


February 2024 Presenters & Topics

PRESENTATION #1: Beer Yeast Herding: What Does Yeast Do Exactly… and Why Should I Care?

By Sherwin Antonio and Kirk Nishikawa

Summary: Beer has four main ingredients: Grain, Water, Hops, and Yeast. Each element can take a lifetime to understand and can profoundly influence the flavor, color, aromatics, body, finish and enjoyment of a beer. Brewyard Beer Co founders Sherwin and Kirk will dive into the lives of beer yeast highlighting how humans aren’t actually the ones making the different brews you enjoy. To prove it, Sherwin and Kirk will end the presentation with a tasting and a discussion of four identical beers that have been fermented with four different yeast strains.

Bio: Sherwin and Kirk became friends way back in high school when Cool Water cologne and Tommy Hilfiger jackets were in fashion. After graduating, Sherwin worked as an ASC Master Certified Mechanic for over 20 years and Kirk became an Architect for 8 years as well as a restaurant manager. Their brewing adventures started with a Mr. Beer kit that eventually turned into an overly sophisticated set-up in Sherwin’s garage. He began to enter homebrewing competitions and accrued a large collection of medals. It was only a matter of time before an ill-advised drunken promise led Sherwin and Kirk down a path to opening a brewery together. As the pieces of their business puzzle started to come together, Sherwin and Kirk decided to quit their careers and go all-in on building out their first brewery. On December 5th, 2015, Sherwin and Kirk opened the doors to Glendale’s very first craft brewery, Brewyard Beer Company. Since then, they’ve won 14 commercial beer competition medals, tripled their production capacity and now have a full canning line.

PRESENTATION #2: Spacetime in Star Trek: An Exploration of Warp Drive, Tachyons, and Time Travel

By Dr. Erin MacDonald

Summary: Does going to warp around a sun send you back in time? And how does one get back? What exactly are chronitons, gravitons, or tachyons? Dr. Erin MacDonald (PhD, Astrophysics) is best known for her work as the science advisor for the Star Trek franchise, a job she’s held since 2019. With her background in general relativity and gravitational waves, we’ll explore all the times Star Trek has played around with space and time – for better or worse.

Bio: Dr. Erin Macdonald received her PhD in gravitational astrophysics at the University of Glasgow in Scotland as a member of the LIGO Collaboration searching for gravitational waves. After working as a researcher and educator, she became a technical advisor for the Department of Defense. In 2020, Erin ditched the engineering career to focus on her work as the official Star Trek science advisor. In addition, she now works full time as a writer, a voice actor, and produces independent short films with her company Spacetime Productions.

PRESENTATION #3: Reentry to Runway: Landing a Space Shuttle

By Trevor Valle

Summary: Imagine you’re in a flying brick with stubby little wings 400,000ft over South America wrapped in a ball of 3000°F plasma hurtling toward the ground, aiming for a 300ft wide, 3 mile long strip of concrete 5000 miles away. You’re also traveling at Mach 25 so you have 17 and a half minutes to go from 17,200mph to zero. And you only have one chance to do it.

Bio: Trevor Valle has been a Nerd Nite regular since 2014, and is primarily known as a paleontologist, biologist, and role-playing game historian. What you might not know is that he is a 4-time graduate of Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, has been invited to California Science Center events to speak about the Endeavour orbiter on display, and has successfully completed over two dozen simulated landings at Space Camp and NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Will there be food?
Yes! Tacos are provided by La Prieta Mexicana.

Other questions? Want to give a presentation at an upcoming Nerd Nite?
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