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Brewing a taste for stem cell research

last modified Nov 30, 2017 11:38 AM

The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute are partnering with local Cambridge pubs to showcase their latest public outreach product: Regenerator, a session ale brewed in collaboration with local beer experts Moonshine Brewery.  The aim is to meet a wide range of the Cambridge public and chat all things stem cells, and what better way to do that than over a pint down the local?

Following the tremendous response to the launch of Regenerator at the Cambridge Beer Festival earlier this year, the scientists behind the project will now be hitting a selection of top regional drinking spots to engage people with the excellent stem cell science occurring here in Cambridge. 

The original idea behind a ‘stem cell beer’ came from Tim Lohoff and Daniel Bode, two PhD students at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, who were challenged with creating a tool to engage with ‘‘harder to reach” adults about their stem cell research.

Tim Lohoff explained the origins of the project: “The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute aims to engage a wide variety of people in an accessible and interesting way with our research.  However, we realised that the usual science festivals and open days don’t necessarily attract all sections of society.  This led us to think of ways to take our research out to the people who may not normally come to these events.  The idea for a real ale that we could take to the Cambridge Beer Festival and be used as a conversation starter about stem cell research started there”.

Daniel Bode continued, saying “We knew that local brewery Moonshine make great beers, so we approached them with our idea and they were very open to working with us on the Regenerator project.  The original launch at the Cambridge Beer Festival in May was great, with people not only enjoying the beer itself, but also chatting with the scientists at the festival and asking challenging questions they had about stem cell science and its applications”.

The next stage of the project sees ‘’Regenerator on Tour’ where the beer and the scientists will be touring regional pubs with a stem cell related events as well as beer tastings.  We have already had two nights at the 10th Anniversary Cambridge Blue beer festival with a special Stem Cell round featuring in their Sunday night quiz and a sell out science comedy night on Monday evening.

 “We are very pleased to be working with the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute to support their public outreach efforts, and what better way than developing a beer and going out to the pubs to chat with locals about their Regenerator beer and also about the incredible stem cell science that is going on in the City” said Jethro Scotcher-Littlechild, landlord at the Cambridge Blue.  “We are especially happy to welcome the scientists as the Cambridge Blue celebrates its 10th anniversary”

Next stop on the Regenerator tour is the White Swan at Stow-cum-Quy at the end of the month, followed by appearances at the Blue Moon and The Maypole in November. 

Full details of Regenerator on Tour can be found on the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute website: www.stemcells.cam.ac.uk/ontour

Feature in Cambridge Independent: http://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/cambridge/stem-cell-beer-is-going-on-a-cambridge-pub-tour-1-5236127