Bourbon Industry Distilled in sixth Flameside Chat

Posted by Centre News in Alumni, News 16 Apr 2015

bourbon_trailThe distinctly Kentucky beverage—bourbon—will be the next topic of the popular Flameside Chat series. The sixth installment, titled The Bourbon Industry Distilled, will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 20. And the three hosts are looking forward to sharing their expertise with viewers as well as gaining new insights from each other.

Leonard Demoranville, assistant professor of chemistry at Centre College, teaches a course about the chemistry of beer, wine and bourbon.flameside_6

“Courses like this one get taught around the country, but Centre’s is one of the only ones that includes bourbon,” Demoranville says. “It’s been a great addition because of some really unique features of the chemistry. I’m looking forward to getting to share some of that with the alumni.

“I hope to have a conversation about those fun, volatile chemicals in bourbon that provide the sensory experience so many people enjoy,” Demoranville continues. “I’m particularly interested in what Matthew (Cummings) has to say about that, as his glasses seek to optimize that experience.”

Matthew Cummings ’05 is the owner and founder of Pretentious Glass Company of Knoxville, Tenn., (formerly of Louisville, Ky.). Cummings uses his education in hot glass received at Centre, and his knowledge of craft beers, to create hand-made beer glasses, each uniquely designed to enhance the flavors of varying types of beer. He has recently expanded his designs to include bourbon glasses.

“With beer, the style affects the shape of the glass,” Cummings says. “But the shape of a bourbon glass will change based on how you drink it—neat, over ice or with a mixer, for example.”

Since his move to Knoxville, Cummings has been working to open a downtown brewery/hot glass studio/bar/gallery where patrons can sip a craft beer or a bourbon from his glasses while watching art being created in the hot glass studio.

“I’m honored and excited to be in this group,” Cummings says. “It should be a well-rounded discussion from people with a wealth of experience. I hope to get advice from Adam [Johnson] about curating a whiskey collection.”

Adam Johnson ’97 is the director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®. Founded in 1999 by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the tour gives visitors a firsthand look at the art, science and history of crafting bourbon. Nearly 2.5 million visitors have taken the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour in the years since Johnson has been at the helm.

Flameside Chat is an interactive, online learning experience that gives viewers the opportunity to have a classroom experience by traveling no farther than their computer. Participants are given the opportunity to submit questions in advance or live during the broadcast. Episodes are live-streamed through the Hangouts app, which automatically pushes the broadcast to YouTube. Viewers can watch via a link on Google+ or YouTube and submit comments for hosts to answer during their talks. They can also tweet @CentreAlumni with the hashtag #flameside, and the moderator can incorporate those comments and questions.

Previous episodes of Flameside Chat can be viewed on the Centre Alumni YouTube Channel. Past interactive conversations have featured James Graham Brown Professor of Economics Bruce K. Johnson; John M. and Louise Van Winkle Professor of Sociology Beau Weston; Dan Stroup, Pierce and Amelia Harrington Lively Professor of Politics and Law, Ben Knoll, assistant professor of politics, and Lia Rohr, visiting assistant professor of politics; President John Roush; and Dr. Raymond Burse ’73, president of Kentucky State University, and J.H. Atkins, assistant vice president and associate professor of education.

An email will be distributed to alumni as scheduled Flameside Chats events approach, and information and links will be posted on the Centre College Alumni Facebook page and via @CentreAlumni on Twitter. For those unable to participate in the live chat, a recorded version of the broadcast is available on YouTube and also posted on Centre’s website.

View the entire series of Flameside Chat episodes here:

Flameside Chat #1: New “Flameside Chats” premier with Beau Weston

Flameside Chat #2: Second Flameside Chat recaps general election results

Flameside Chat #3: Third Flameside Chat allows viewers to discuss leadership with President John Roush

Flameside Chat #4: Flameside Chat offers a personal view into life at Centre during the Civil Rights Movement

Flameside Chat #5: Dr. Bruce K. Johnson discusses and takes questions on the intersection of economics and college athletics, and the madness of the NCAA

by Cindy Long