Update: The July 7th class is now full, and GPL will now be offering an identical class on July 14th at 6:30 p.m.
In June, Greenville Public Library (Fourth & Sycamore’s home base) will be kicking off a new Craft Beer Education Series. Participants will enjoy quarterly, one-hour classes that will include a guided tasting of various craft beer styles.
The popularity of craft beer has exploded in the last decade as Americans have sought a more authentic, artisanal eating and drinking experience. After decades of being stuck with bland, mass-produced beer, innovative brewers in the 1980s and 1990s laid the groundwork for a revival of diverse and delicious beer in America, and about fifteen years ago drinkers really began to catch on. The growth of the craft beer industry over the last few years has been astonishing. In March 2015, craft brewers claimed 11% of total beer sales in the United States, achieving a double-digit market share for the first time since the advent of national beer brands. There are now well over 4,000 breweries in the United States, beating even pre-Prohibition numbers, and more are opening all the time. With all this new variety available, many beer drinkers are looking for guidance in how to understand and enjoy this versatile drink better. Additionally, wine, liquor, and cocktail drinkers who have long viewed beer as a trashy, artless beverage are catching on to the level of craftsmanship available with artisan beer (at a low cost, no less), both from historical styles and boundary-pushing experimental brews.
GPL’s Craft Beer Education Series will be lead by David Nilsen, a beer aficionado who has traveled extensively in pursuit of the perfect brew (he’s taking his second trip to Belgium this fall) and is currently prepping for his exam to become a Certified Cicerone (the beer equivalent of being a certified wine Sommelier). David will present about half an hour of information at each class, and then lead attendees through a tasting to illustrate the principles of the class in the second half hour.
These classes will welcome craft beer fans with all levels of knowledge and experience, but will focus on helping novice drinkers better understand this wonderful drink. The first class, scheduled for Thursday, July 7, at 6:30 p.m. (more details below), will be a general introduction to beer and will walk through the basic ingredients of beer, look at the process of brewing beer, and explain how to properly taste beer to evaluate and enjoy it. Attendees will then be guided through a sample tasting of four beers to demonstrate these principles. The second class will take place in early October and will build open the principles of this first class.
Registration is required for the July 7 class, and seating will be strictly limited to 15 attendees (no walk-ins accepted). Photo ID will be required for entry to verify attendees are of legal drinking age. To register, contact the Greenville Public Library reference desk at 937-548-3915. Call now to claim your seat!