News & Updates

Beer Smarts Class Back in Session at Modist

Modist Education Director Paige Latham will again be hosting her Beer Smarts class at the brewery beginning on March 6th. The six-week course will cover water, grains, hops, fermentation, evaluating beer, food and beer pairing, and the popular optional 7th session which is a beer dinner with chef Ian Gray from The Curious Goat and The Smoking Cow. Tickets for the optional four course dinner will cost $50 and the seats are limited.

I had the opportunity to sit in on one of these sessions and I was very impressed. Paige is very knowledgeable and is the perfect person to teach such a class. She’s the woman behind the blog Alcohol by Volume and is the beer expert at Heavy Table. She also worked at The Four Firkins in St. Louis Park where she became a Cicerone Certified Beer Server.

Tickets for the six sessions are on sale for $60 and you can find them here. See the schedule below:

Session 1: Beer History and Water (3/6/17)

  • Intro to course
  • History of brewing
  • Properties of water
  • Ratio of grain to water / “gravity”
  • Beers famous for water reasons

Session 2: Grains and malting (3/13/17)

  • Focus on malted grain / barley
  • German Purity Law
  • Other sources of sugar (candied sugar, lactose)
  • What happens when water meets grain
  • Beers famous for grain reasons
  • Mini brewery tour!

Session 3: Hops (3/20/17)

  • Hops – what they are, how they’re grown, and where they’re grown
  • From the filter to the boil kettle
  • Hop additions and other additives

Session 4: Fermentation (3/27/17)

  • Historical significance of yeast as magic / God / luck
  • Classification of yeast
  • An overview of fermentation
  • Significant yeast strains through history and by style
  • Other methods of fermentation
  • The bright tank (forced carbonation vs natural)

Session 5: Evaluating Beer (4/10/17)

  • Packaging beer
  • Beer service (cleanliness/glassware)
  • Beer expiration
  • Critical evaluation and tasting
  • How to improve your palate
  • Good beer gone bad: off flavor training

Session 6: Food and Beer Pairing (4/24/17)

  • Why pair beer with food?
  • Pairing with beer vs wine
  • Basic taste elements
  • Congruent vs complementary food and beer pairing
  • Pairing tips and tricks