We are offering 18 Beer School classes in 2020!

Guardian Brewing Company offers Certified Cicerone led classes, open to the public (21+ only). For more information, please read the details below each class or check out our Facebook event page.

To sign up for a class, please stop in or purchase tickets through Eventbrite via the Facebook event page. (We accept all major credit cards as payment over the phone 269-543-2238)

Your instructor will be Kim Collins, a Certified Cicerone and the owner and Head Brewer of Guardian Brewing Company. Kim has been brewing professionally since 2012 at five breweries before opening Guardian. She is passionate about recipe research, the art of barrel aging, kettle sours, and session beers. Before and after Kim became a brewer, she taught a variety of university-level courses for 13 years at Indiana University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and most recently Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Sustainable Brewing Program. No matter how much Kim professes her love for craft beer, teaching is her life’s true passion.

Class Bios

JANUARY 15 – MAKE A FIRKIN WITH FRIENDS (Tapping on February 14) “Dessert Firkins” (24 people per class, $15)

Includes flight of 4 on the day of tapping and 9 oz glass of beer during prep.

Join us to learn more about the world of cask ale. Also called “Real Ale,” this beer serving style has been served in barrels of various sizes and materials over the course of history. Our class will have a quick history and fermentation lesson before putting our skills to use! The class will break into 4 teams and make their own recipes in a firkin (metal barrel that will house naturally carbonated beer).

The firkins will be served at our pub on February 14 at 5:00 PM. The cost of the class includes a 5-ounce pour of each firkin recipe. Grab your friends and family and come in to make something unique and never served before at Guardian!

JANUARY 29 – BARLEYWINES & WHEATWINES (24 people per class, $15)

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind Barleywines and Wheatwines. Where did the styles begin? Where have American beer-makers taken the styles?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

FEBRUARY 13 – GALENTINE’S DAY PAIRING – Beer, Cheese, and Chocolate (24 people per class, $25)

During this special annual event, we will pair three cheeses and three chocolates with 6 unique Guardian beers. Come by and learn a little more about pairing and Guardian beer. This event will be part education and part entertainment and decadence.

FEBRUARY 19 – CHOCOLATE & COFFEE BEER (24 people per class, $15)

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind Chocolate and Coffee Beer. Where did the styles begin? Where have beer-makers world-wide taken the styles?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

MARCH 11 – CELTIC BEER: Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales (24 people per class, $15)

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind Celtic beer (beer styles of Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales) Where did the styles begin? Where have American beer-makers taken the styles?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

MAY 20 – EAST VS. WEST COAST IPAs (24 people per class, $15)

Do you like IPAs? Think you know the difference between East and West Coast styles? Join us to learn more about a favorite style still incredibly popular around the USA and the world. During this hour-long class, we will explore the history and nuances behind the two different styles of American IPAs. How did the styles begin and how did they morph into the beer styles of 2020?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different IPAs discussed in class. Come in and learn more about your favorite beer style or try an IPA for the first time and see what all the hype is about!

JUNE 10 – AMERICAN SOUR BEER (24 people per class, $15)

Join us to celebrate how brewers are taking a Modern look at Old World brewing techniques that end up as “sours.” During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind sour beer styles and blending. Where did the styles begin?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

JULY 8 – ADRIATIC & EASTERN-EURO LAGERS: Italy, Croatia, Poland, Czechoslovakia (24 people per class, $15)

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind Adriatic & Eastern European lagers. Kim will have just returned from Croatia and Italy with inspired lagers for you to discover. Where did the styles begin? What is the difference in each country or regions styles?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

JULY 29 – HOW TO PAIR FOOD WITH BEER (24 people per class, $30)

The art of pairing beer with food starts with understanding a few basic flavor combinations. Our goal for this class is for all participants to be able to successfully understand the basics of pairing beer and food well enough to successfully pair at home or order the beer that will compliment your entree best at restaurants.

During this course we will explore five well-known and easy to find beer styles as flavors, then connect them to five foods made by Chef Dan, in Guardian’s kitchen, they pair well with. This course will feature different combinations than the ones we explored in 2019.

AUGUST 12 – HOMEBREWER SERIES 1: MALT VARIETIES (24 people per class, $15)

Come explore the world of grains/brewer’s malt and its effects on beer styles. (All beers and malts in class will contain gluten). This class is for homebrewers and beer lovers alike. We will discuss malt uses and how the use reflects in the taste of certain beers. This class will build upon any homebrewing or malt knowledge you have or might even make you curious enough to try homebrewing!

We will sample both beer and grains during class.

AUGUST 19 – HOMEBREWER SERIES 2: HOP VARIETIES (24 people per class, $15)

Come explore the world of hops and its effects on beer styles. This class is for homebrewers and beer lovers alike. We will discuss hop uses and how the use reflects in the taste of certain beers. This class will build upon any homebrewing or hop knowledge you have or might even make you curious enough to try homebrewing!

We will sample both beer and learn to rub hops during class.

AUGUST 26 – MAKE A FIRKIN WITH FRIENDS (Tapping on October 2) (24 people per class, $15)

Includes flight of 4 on the day of tapping and 9 oz glass of beer during prep

Join us to learn more about the world of cask ale. Also called “Real Ale,” this beer serving style has been served in barrels of various sizes and materials over the course of history. Our class will have a quick history and fermentation lesson before putting our skills to use! The class will break into 4 teams and make their own recipes in a firkin (metal barrel that will house naturally carbonated beer).

The firkins will be served at our pub on October 2 at 5:00 PM. The cost of the class includes a 5-ounce pour of each firkin recipe. Grab your friends and family and come in to make something unique and never served before at Guardian!

SEPTEMBER 9 – GERMAN LAGERS 101 (24 people per class, $15)

Learn about German lagers styles just in time for Oktoberfest! (What is Oktoberfest?!) During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind different, classic, German beer styles. How did the styles begin and how are they made today?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

SEPTEMBER 30 – ALTERNATIVE GERMAN STYLES: Gose, Berliner Weisse, and Rauchbier (24 people per class, $15)

Learn about the wider world of German beer styles. During this hour-long class, we will explore the history and nuances behind Gose, Berliner Weisse, and Rauchbier styles.

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

OCTOBER 14 – WILD ALES & BRETT BEER (24 people per class, $15)

Join us to celebrate a few Old-World styles of beer left in the world that happen because of nature and terroir. During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind Wild Ales and Beers with Brettanomyces (Brett). Where did the styles begin? Where have beer-makers taken the styles?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

OCTOBER 28 – WEIRD BEER / EXPLORATORY STYLES 201 (24 people per class, $15)

Do you like weird beer? What constitutes weird/uncommonly flavored beers and who is making them well? During this hour-long class, we will explore the history and nuances behind Experimental Beer Styles. Where did they begin and how did it morph into a ton of beer styles found all over the world? What flavors are especially weird and totally delicious?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

NOVEMBER 7 – LEARN TO HOMEBREW DAY (Brew-in-a-Bag Technique) (10 people per class, 10:00AM – 4:00PM, $25)

Join Kim in the big brewhouse to learn to brew tiny! As a small group, we will learn how to brew a 5-gallon batch of American IPA that you can make at home. We will explore the “Brew-in-a-Bag” technique during our 6 hours together. Since this is a long class, we will have a short break for lunch.

The cost of the class includes a pint during class and a 32-ounce Crowler of beer made in class and a copy of the recipe for you to use at home.

DECEMBER 16 – CHRISTMAS ALE & WINTER WARMER STYLES (24 people per class, $15)

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history Winter Ales and Christmas Beers. Where did the styles begin? Where have brewers from around the world taken the styles?

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer styles we discuss in class. Come celebrate the last class of Beer School for 2020 and learn something about a style you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to the world of craft beer.

 

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