You may remember that we announced back this spring that I would be teaching an Introduction to Craft Beer class this fall at Cincinnati State. The first section filled within 72 hours and we ended up adding a second section that was full almost two months before the semester started.
It has been great to see the wide range of students enrolled in the two sections. Ages range from those who recently turned 21 to several in their 60s and 70s. The gender split is about two-thirds male and one-third female. And there is a wide range of ethnic backgrounds too.
Their experience in beer is also varied. We have several folks who admit their beer of choice is Bud Light all the way up to someone who hosts beer tastings at a local bottle shop and another student who works in the beer section of a local grocery store.
While the class includes the usual tests, quizzes and reports that you would expect in a college class, we occasionally have assignments that are unique to this class. During the first week of the semester, I was sharing a story about how, when a restaurant didn’t have a written list of their beers and made their servers recite them, I would just ask for the weirdest beer they had on draft. That worked for many years until I ended up with a beer from Brooklyn Brewery called The Concoction. Not being a fan of peat, this was not a good choice for me and broke me of the habit of asking for the weird beer.
After some discussion, this experience turned into an assignment for the class. They needed to try a beer that they thought was weird or that they normally wouldn’t order. With the wide range of beer experience in the class, the list of what weird beers they tried was also varied. We also had some great discussions about the various beers. The first one (Turn for the Wurst) was my weird beer and I loved it. The Dogfish Head choice grew out of our discussion of their Ancient Ale series when we were covering the ancient history of brewing. This assignment went so well that their next assignment is to try someone else’s weird beer and report back in a few weeks.
Blank Slate Turn for the Wurst (with “relish”),
Rivertowne Pourhouse Hala Kahiki Pineapple Beer,
Well’s Sticky Toffee Pudding,
Oskar Blues Mama’s Lil Yella Pils,
Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes Square Root 225,
Blank Slate Lesser Path,
Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro,
Bad Tom Smith Old Abe,
Great Divide Collette,
Urban Artifact Key Punch,
West Sixth Lemongrass,
Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu,
Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout,
Hopknife Harvest Ale,
Left Hand Oktoberfest,
Brew Kettle Dark Helmet,
Not Your Father’s Root Beer,
Sixpoint Four Beans Porter,
Alltech Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale,
Leinenkugel’s Fall Shandy,
Spiteful Klutzy Buffoon,
Ballast Point Calm Before the Storm and
Three Floyds Battle Priest
So try a weird beer some time soon. It’s definitely great for your better beer education!