The Classy Alcoholic Gets Some Higher Beer-ducation
On Sunday, March 25th Helton Beer School will be hosting the sixth iteration of their quarterly Beer School. Yes, I know the name of the event might be scaring you off. I get it. I was so bad at school I didn’t realize till today that my high school diploma was actually just a Fruit Roll-Up this whole time. Seriously, the only thing I hated more than going to class was having to stay sober that whole time.
But this is the ideal type of school because staying sober is actually discouraged. Every three months Helton will invite four breweries to teach participants about a specific aspect of the craft beer industry. Notice I didn’t saying an aspect of the “brewing process.”
I got to attend Beer School 5.0 a few months ago and I was thoroughly impressed at how each brewery picked something they’re prominently known for and gave us a peek behind the curtain. For example, 8-Bit Aleworks in Avondale is great at making “hacked” beers which means they’ll take their White Mage Wheat Ale or their Black Mage Stout and blend in different fruit, hops, spices and all kinds of other delicious toppings. At the Beer School I attended we were given the chance to pick our own blend and hack a beer with the ingredients that appealed to us.
Helio Basin Brewing Co. in Phoenix receives a ton of acclaim for the quality of their food and the level of thought put into their beer pairings. So of course, Chef Tamara Stanger was there to discuss flavor profiling and tips on how to pair beer and food.
It was awesome to see how our Arizona breweries are each developing their own personalities as they grow and how we, as drinkers, are so lucky to have access to such passionate, knowledgeable beer enthusiasts. Hell, if my teachers were even half as passionate as these folks maybe I would’ve learned that Pythagoras was a mathematician and wouldn’t have spent years just assuming he was a Soundcloud rapper. Do you know how much time I spent online looking for a Pythagoras mixtape that didn’t exist?
By the way, another incorrect assumption I made prior to Helton Beer School was that all the attendees were homebrewers or folks with aspirations of opening up their own brewery some day. But it turns out a lot of them had no such goals. They, like me, were just big fans of our local beer scene and, like me, wanted to learn more about what they were drinking. So whether you have big dreams of one day running a successful microbrewery or you just dig great local brews this event has something for you.
Beer School 6.0 has another great list of Brew Professors. (Brewfessors? No, that’s dumb. Never mind.) This time you’ll be learning from Cider Corps, Grand Canyon Brewing, O.H.S.O and Goldwater Brewing.
So if you’re wondering whether or not to sign up I’m here to tell you that it’s totally worth your time. Just make sure you make enough room for all the beer you’re gonna consume. Your BAC is gonna be on the test.