Come join me this fall for another beer class at the University of Minnesota, College of Continuing Education. The two sessions of Beer-101 classes that I have taught in the past were very well attended and rocking good times. This semester I’m bringing something new.
Since December I have been touring breweries and interviewing brewers throughout the upper-Midwest for a book I’m working on for the University of Illinois Press. I’m building a very good overview of what is happening in our region beer-wise. Starting October 12th I’ll be sharing some of that knowledge in a class called Brews and Breweries of the Upper-Midwest. We’ll talk about the explosive growth the region’s brewing industry and explore its trends, tastes, and interesting personalities. Of course we’ll be sampling some of the best beers from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
The class runs for four consecutive Wednesday evenings from 7-9 pm starting October 12th. It takes place at the Campus Club in Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus. Registration is now open on the Learning Life website.
Here’s the official description.
The last five years have seen an explosion of new brewing activity in the Upper Midwest, making it one of the fastest growing beer scenes in the country. The region is home to an eclectic mix of old and new that includes some of the nation’s oldest breweries, a handful of microbrewing pioneers, and new breweries opening at a dizzying rate. It has spawned new beer-world superstars like Surly in the Twin Cities and Ale Asylum in Madison. The region’s breweries come in all shapes and sizes; from large producers making over 100,000 barrels per year to pico-breweries making beer 10 gallons at a time. Midwestern brewers are experimenting with local ingredients like Iowa corn (including the stalks) and aging beer in barrels from regional distilleries and wineries. This coterie of brewers is even packing some political clout, changing long-standing beer laws in several states, including Minnesota. This class will take you on a beer tour of the Upper Midwest featuring beers from breweries new and old in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. We’ll look at overall trends in the region and explore some of the new styles being crafted to suit the regional palate. Participants pay a $40 fee to the instructor on the first night for food and beverage.
Michael Agnew is a certified beer cicerone and the founder of A Perfect Pint, which offers beer tastings and educational experiences for private and corporate events. He is a national beer judge for the Beer Judge Certification Program, consults with restaurants about beer, and has taught classes at Kitchen Window and Cooks of Crocus Hill.