Craft beer is serious business.
The impact of craft beer on the economy and culture of the Twin Cities has developed expeditiously over the past few years. And as is the case with many young industries—there can be a pretty steep learning curve. The quick-growing micro industry of craft beer in Minnesota is undoubtedly a work in progress, but luckily for us there are organizations that exist with the singular mission of making the beer business better. The Better Beer Society (BBS) and the education they provide through Better Beer Society University is one great example.
Brainchild of beer-industry veteran and Certified Cicerone® Rob Shellman, the Better Beer Society is an organization that strives “to provide education, collaboration, and representation to retailers, distributors, and breweries in an effort to increase the knowledge and awareness of craft beer in Minnesota.” The multi-faceted organization hopes to improve the standards of beer service in restaurants, bars, and other establishments through staff training and a certification process that audits bars and restaurants for criteria such as “beer clean glassware,” proper pouring techniques, clean draft lines, proper beer storage temperatures, keg rotation, freshness dates, and more.
Shellman and crew also host Better Beer Society University – a 12-week course taught once per “semester,” designed to unite and educate the beer community on all aspects of the local craft beer industry. Co-hosted by Certified Cicerone® (and Growler contributor) Michael Agnew, the course exposes students to unique and thought-provoking perspectives of many facets of the beer industry. Curriculum covers industry trends, insider information, curated tastings, and will feature experts in the beer industry from around the world to help students explore their palates and become better tasters while learning more about beer’s history and character.
The course is designed for a wide range of skill levels. Tuition cost is $100 for the entire semester (or roughly $8/class), and includes all supplies and weekly beer flights. BBS is currently accepting enrollment for their spring 2015 semester. Classes are held Wednesdays (March 4th – May 20th / 6pm & 7:30pm classes) at Republic (Seven Corners). For more information or to enroll, visit their website: www.betterbeersociety.com/bbsu.