The Australian beer landscape has changed forever. After more than a century of drinkers having to choose from a narrow range of lagers, the last decade has seen an explosion in the variety and quality of beers. The task for today’s adventurous beer drinker is to choose knowledgeably from this new generation of ales, porters, stouts, pilsners, weissbiers and more.
Help is at hand for those keen to learn, with the launching of The Beer Academy in Australia yesterday.
The Beer Academy is the United Kingdom’s premier beer education body, founded by beer enthusiasts to help drinkers develop a sophisticated understanding of beer’s diverse wonders. It has taught more than 10,000 people in the UK, as well as being a key part of beer festivals and food shows.
The Beer Academy has appointed local beer experts Brewtique to manage these courses in Australia. The courses range in depth, starting with a 90 minute tasting session that develops a basic understanding of different beer styles and how to taste them. They cover how beer is made, what makes it different, how to taste it professionally, how to present it, how to pick a fresh beer from a stale one, and other essential skills for the beer lover.
Beer enthusiasts can continue through courses including Making Beer and Food Dance, How To Judge Beer, and multi-day courses like Advanced Beer Tasting. The Beer Academy even offers the ultimate beer qualification: Beer Sommelier, a highly sought-after badge of honour that can only be achieved through extensive training, hands-on trade experience, and intensive one-on-one practical exams.
The Academy’s program is essentially developing the same level of expertise that is currently applied to wine, only better, because it’s about beer. The presenters are recognised beer experts, who are keen to make the events fun as well as informative.
“We’re thrilled that the Beer Academy has chosen us to be the custodians of their important mission here in Australia,” said Brewtique Managing Director Mike Spencer.
“With microbreweries and major brewers creating beer styles we haven’t seen in this country before, there’s never been more interest in beer or such a thirst for knowledge about it.”
The first courses to be available will be the 90-Minute Tasting Sessions and the ½ day Making Beer and Food Dance course. The first courses will be available during February 2012 with the other courses introduced progressively.
The courses are suitable for everybody: everyday beer drinkers, the hospitality trade and the brewing industry. Spencer anticipates the courses will be popular as gifts, corporate entertainment and social events. Courses can be tailored for specific needs. In the UK, the Beer Academy even educates brewery staff.
The Beer Academy courses will be held in a range of cities in venues with a good beer and food reputation, but can also be held in other venues such as offices. Course fees start at $60.
Booking enquiries can be made via the Beer Academy website or 02 9489-8888.
The courses were launched yesterday in Brisbane, with the first class scheduled for 28 February. Bookings can be made here.
*Note: Australian Brews News editor Matt Kirkegaard is one of the Beer Academy presenters.