Beer lovers are, more often than not, drawn to the craft beer scene after trying a new style or being introduced to a better form of the beverage. Before you know it, there are tap takeovers, beer festivals, day trips and vacations planned exclusively for breweries and basically, we pretty much have beer on the brain at all times. But even if you memorize every BJCP style guideline and keep up with all the latest trends, the only way to truly know beer is to make it.
If you’re interested in learning how to make beer and don’t have plans for the Siebel Institute or the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD) just yet, there are several online courses that will accomplish the basic “how to” of homebrewing without the hefty tuition. Here are three that are actually worth considering, both for their content and the cost.
All-Grain & Partial Mash Brewing by Craft Beer & Brewing
Price: FREE IF ENROLLED BY 8/25, otherwise $24.99, or $9.99/month for access to all Craft Beer & Brewing classes.
Along with publishing a monthly print magazine and regular digital content, Craft Beer & Brewing produces comprehensive brewing basics courses (as well as more advanced techniques) in their online homebrewing education platform. The course offerings range from extract brewing to partial to all grain, and each class offers step by step segments complete with downloadable, printable instructions and checklists for your brew session.
The video/slideshow/handout combo is a big draw for me, so even though I’ve been all grain brewing from the start, I’m registering for today’s free course and considering signing up for the monthly access. (My first foray into flavoring – strawberries and mint sprigs in a summer wheat ale – is currently fermenting, and I’d love to learn more about incorporating fresh ingredients into future brews. The yeast harvesting may have to wait.)
Beer Brewing 101 by Brit + Co. and Brooklyn Brew Shop
Cutesy DIY fanatics, Brit + Co. recently collaborated with Brooklyn Brew Shop co-founder, Erica Shea to present Beer Brewing 101, a fun and easy guide to brewing a one-gallon batch of beer. The class uses Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Grapefruit Honey Ale beer making kit, which is also available for purchase at 10% off the original price of $40 when you buy the class for $20. The principles of this tutorial apply to any beer of any batch size, and divided by chapter, the course manages to condense the 4-6 hour brewing process down to less than 30 minutes of digestible, re-watchable content.
Introduction to All Grain Brewing by the AHA
Although they don’t advertise these as brewing classes per se, the American Homebrewers Association is also full of resources and information on how to brew at the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. These include videos, recipes, how-to guides and tips detailing the brewing process from start to finish (with pictures!). As a member of the AHA, I’m thrilled to discover this – and I’m pretty sure it’s available for anyone to use.
Peek at the “Let’s Brew” section for a multitude of homebrew recipes and free offerings on how to brew.
Learning is cool, go do it!