MARC has teamed up with some of Baltimore’s most accomplished beer aficionados, judges, and brewers to offer a six-week exploration of beer styles. Sign up for single classes or the whole series.

Location: The Baltimore County Ag Center and Farm Park (1114 Shawan Rd. Cockeysville, MD – 21030)

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Cost: $25/class or $125 for the entire series

Class 1 – January 21  Introduction to Beer Styles and Evaluation (Jamie and Paul)
Class 2 – January 28  A Taste of Germany (Judy)
Class 3 – February 18  Battle of the Pale Ales – English, Belgian, American/Imperial (Jeff)
Class 4 – February 25  UK Beers: Porters, Stouts, Scottish and Irish Ales (Les)
Class 5 – March 24  Why Wheat? Why Not? Classic Wheat Beers (Les)
Class 6 – March 31 Beers of Belgium (Jamie and Paul)

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Class 1 (January 21) – Introduction to Beer Styles and Evaluation 

Avid beer travelers Paul and Jamie Langlie have 25 years of experience as home brewers, BJCP beer judges, and beer educators. They are long-time active members of the Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP) homebrew club. Join them for an introductory beer tasting class to include:

  • Overview of the Brewing Process
  • An Introduction to Beer Styles & Categories
  • Beer Evaluation Criteria 101
  • Sampling 5-6 Special Microbrews
  • Bonus Beer Travel Tips
  • Fun!

Class 2 (January 28) – A Taste of Germany

There are so many different styles originating from Germany’s rich and long brewing history. Many of these traditional styles and brewing techniques made their way to America by German immigrants in the 1800s and over the years have morphed into the mass produced light American Lagers from 3 monster-sized breweries that have dominated our beer market. But no Budweiser will be served in this class. Instead, we will cover a selection representing light and dark beers from different regions around Germany.

  • Light: Helles, Pilsner, Kolsch Amber: Oktoberfest/Marzen and a Rauchbier (same marzen style)–just 1 bottle to try only a sip because it’s so different.
  • Dark: Schwartzbier, Dopplebock.

This class will be led by Judy Neff, a BJCP recognized beer judge and a Certified Cicerone, which is the beer equivalent to a sommelier for wine. She began homebrewing 10 years ago and classes like these are what took her to the next level. She has been promoting craft beer appreciation and education as a founder of the Baltimore Beer Babes and has led classes for the American Institute for Wine and Food when they decided to branch out to beer. Living in Switzerland for 3 years, Judy had a chance to really get to know German beers.

Class 3 (February 18) Battle of the Pale Ales – English, Belgian, American/Imperial

Pale Ale first appeared in 1703 as a new style of beer much different from the porters and stouts that were popular at the time. Technically, Pale Ale is any warm fermented ale that uses predominantly pale malt for its color. Different countries (the UK, Belgium, United States, India, among others) have brought variations to the style. Based upon regional characteristics of yeast, water, and hops, these beers are distinctly different. This class will explore those variations in depth, including samplings of English, Belgian, American, and India Pale Ales. The class will also cover how other countries are exploring the bounds of this style, including new yeast strains, hops and hopping techniques. This class will be taught by Jeff Sanders, a BJCP Certified-level judge and member of the BJCP board. Jeff regularly organizes homebrew and commercial beer competitions, is a homebrewer himself, and has visited every country where the Pale Ale styles have originated.

Class 4 (February 25) UK Beers: Porters, Stouts, Scottish and Irish Ales

Dark and amber beers date back centuries being some of the first styles produced due to malting processes and tastes. This class will explore beers of the British Isles. We’ll learn how climate, soil, brewing processes and even taxes played a huge roll in beer brewing and style development in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. We’ll sample styles such as English Porter, Irish Stout, Scotish 80 schilling and Scotch Ale, Irish Red, and Cream Stout

This class is led by Les White. Les is an avid homebrewer and president of the Free State Homebrewers Club Guild, an umbrella organization of 16 member clubs. He is a National level BJCP certified judge and has conducted several judge training and sensory analysis courses for both homebrewers and professionals. While he didn’t invent the term, “Beercation”, it’s certainly the best word to describe his travel adventures. Annual trips to Europe since 2000 have mainly centered on volunteering at the Great British Beer Festival in London. But Les is always honing his beer knowledge – whether it’s drinking Kolsch in Cologne, Rauchbier in Bamburg, Lambic in Brussels or Stout in Dublin, every trip involves beer. “It’s not just about the beer but the entire experience – the surroundings, the perfect glass, the proper serving temperature, the people you meet – all of that makes for a memory that is much stronger for a beer judge than any book knowledge could convey.“

Class 5 (March 24) Why Wheat? Why Not? Classic Wheat Beers

For hundreds of years, barley has been the preferred grain for making beer. However, the staple grain of Europe is wheat so it was inevitable that it would make its way into beer. Different brewing processes and types of wheat along with some creativity have led to creating some of the most iconic and highly desired beer styles in the world. This class will explore how wheat and wheat products are used in beer and how along with other ingredients have made some highly flavorful brews. We’ll sample German styles such as Hefeweizen, Berliner Weisse, and Weizenbock, Belgians including Wit and Saison, and an American Wheat ale.

Final Class (March 31) – Beers of Belgium (Jamie and Paul)

This class, led by Jamie and Paul Langlie, will focus on the unique characteristics of Belgian beer styles and the strong influence these have had on American craft brews. Saisons and sour beers, two of today’s most popular brewing trends can trace their roots directly to Belgium. We will explore the sour beers, together with representatives of other hallmark styles that might include dubbels, tripels, dark strongs and speciality beers. The Langlies have been traveling to Belgium for beer regularly over the past several years and look forward to sharing their experience and insights with the class.