For anyone who likes to joke that they majored in beer in college, well, now you sort of can. UCLA Extension, the continuing education institution that's fully accredited through its sister school, UCLA, has just announced its newest class: a primer on all things craft beer.
Called “A Class of Beer: An Overview of the Craft Brewing Renaissance,” the class will teach you all about the history of brewing, the origins of the U.S. craft beer revolution and the how-tos of beer appreciation, from brewing to tasting to judging to food pairing. A portion of the class is dedicated to the business of beer — including starting and running a brewery, opening a beer-centric business and more. It's being offered as part of the restaurant and wine education management programs in the Business and Management department. The eight-week course starts March 28.
“A Class of Beer” is being taught by Tomm Carroll, a beer expert, certified beer judge and L.A.'s original beer journalist, who has been writing about the city's craft beer scene since its infancy. He's a longtime contributor to Celebrator and has an ongoing column in Beer Paper L.A. called “L.A. B.C.” (L.A. Before Craft).
According to the class syllabus, Carroll will not only teach students to differentiate between a wide range of beer styles through a host of in-class tasting sessions but he'll also conduct field trips throughout the city to breweries, craft beer bars, bottle shops and taprooms, where students will learn from a host of local experts on the world's most popular beverage. Where else can you earn points for drinking with your teacher?
Several colleges around the country already offer beer-centric classes, but many are specifically geared toward brewing science degrees and craft beer marketing. Locally, Cal Poly Pomona, also through its extension program, has long offered a “Culture of Beer” course and began offering hands-on brewing courses last spring.