“Go back to school”
“Get a hobby”
“Take one class to start”

These are some of the comments I’ve heard in my household for the past couple years. I admit, I’ve known that I need to further my education to advance my career. It was just a matter of getting motivated and finding something that interested me. One summer day, the “Outlook” magazine from the City of Lancaster arrived in my mailbox. It is filled with all sorts of tidbits about events in the city, and a course listing of public interest courses offered through the city. There’s Kids Aquatics, Nature walks, Amateur Photography, etc… Stuff I usually skim over with little to no interest.

Then it hit me – it just jumped off the page! Beer 101: An introduction to beer. Offered by Kinetic Brewing, a local brewery/restaurant on The Blvd. The course was highlighted on the OurWeekly.com website HERE. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“The city of Lancaster is infusing the community’s excitement for the Field of Drafts Craft Beer Festival into its fall 2013 class offerings. Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 23, Steve Kinsey, owner of Kinetic Brewing Company, will host Beer 101 classes for those who seek to understand what makes the marriage of barley, water, hops and yeast so unique.

This introductory beer-tasting course series is designed to break down the preconceived notions of what beer is and, more importantly, what it is not. Kinsey, who has achieved qualification as a Certified Cicerone (expert in beer), is eager to share his personal passion for the history and regeneration of craft brewing with the community.”

Looking at this, I couldn’t help but be reminded that I was in the research stage of The Brew Quest Challenge; and even though this was not a class on how to brew beer, it was Beer Education in a practical setting. So I excitedly told the wife “I’m starting classes in September!”, and a smile lit up her face. Then came the inevitable question, “So what are you taking?”… I’ll admit, I was shocked that after telling her what the class was, her first words were, “That will help you with your challenge! Go make some friends.”

Over the next couple of months I learned all about beer. Ales, lagers, Belgian beers, wheat beers, sours, stouts, barley wine… the list goes on. The best part of the course: We were provided with samples of the beer we were learning about. When learning about what makes a Belgian beer, we were given a Dubbel and a Belgian Brown Ale to sample as the characteristics were described. Throughout the different classes, we learned about how yeast works and what it adds to the beer, what hops did, how beers are affected by water, and all sorts of other useful tidbits.

At no point was the class about “this is how to brew beer”, but I definitely learned many factoids that helped me land on the first recipe I will brew on Brew Day.

beer101

So if you’re in the Lancaster area, stop by Kinetic Brewing and try their beers. I personally like Rusted Gear – it’s an Amber Ale. And don’t forget to try the Scotch Egg – you won’t regret or forget it!

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