Guardian Brewing Company

Beer School

We are offering 16 Beer School classes in 2021!

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

To sign up for a class, please stop in, call, or purchase tickets through Eventbrite (click on the class title below). No refunds are given within 10 days of class, but you may apply payment to attend a future class.

All courses will be instructed by Kim Collins, a Certified Cicerone, 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 13 – MAKE A FIRKIN WITH FRIENDS – Chocolate Firkins (16 people per class, $15, 7:00-8:30PM)

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 chocolaty recipes in a firkin (metal barrel that will house naturally carbonated beer).

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

The firkins will be served at our pub on February 14 at 12:00 PM. Grab your friends and family and come in to make something unique and never served before at Guardian!

CLASS WILL BE RESCHEDULED DUE TO RESTAURANT CLOSURES.

JANUARY 27 – BARREL-AGED BEER (16 people per class, $20, 7:00-8:00PM)

DUE TO RESTAURANT CLOSURES, CLASS IS RESCHEDULED TO DECEMBER 15.

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind barrel-aged beer. 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.

FEBRUARY 13 – GALENTINE’S / PALENTINE’S DAY PAIRING – Beer, Cheese, and Dessert Pairing (16 people per class, $30, 7:00-8:30PM)

During this special annual event, we will pair three artisan cheeses and three desserts made by Head Chef Abby, with 6 unique Guardian beers. Join us for our 3rd Annual evening of decadence! (All 21+ are welcome!)

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

FEBRUARY 24 – CHOCOLATE BEER (16 people per class, $15, 7:00-8:00PM)

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind various styles of chocolate 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.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

MARCH 6 – LADIES LEARN TO HOMEBREW DAY (Brew-in-a-Bag Technique) (10 people per class, $25, 10:00AM – 3:00PM)

Ladies! Join Kim to learn more about the home brewing process and celebrate International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. As a small group, we will learn how to brew a 5-gallon batch of Hoppy Saison never brewed before at Guardian. We will use the Pink Boots Hop Blend to raise awareness for women in the brewing industry.

During the brew, we will explore the “Brew-in-a-Bag” technique during our 5 hours together. Since this is a longer class, we will have a short break for lunch. The cost of the class includes a pint during class, a 32-ounce Crowler of beer made in class, and a copy of the recipe for you to use at home.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

MARCH 24 – WOMEN IN BEER PANEL (16 people per class, $15, 7:00-9:00PM)

During this hour-long class, we will invite a few friends to talk about their jobs and the state of the Michigan craft beer industry while sharing their favorite beers with us.

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 craft beer in Michigan.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

APRIL 21 – OFF FLAVOR TRAINING (12 people per class, $20) (7:00-8:30PM)

This course is great for Certified Cicerone® candidates, craft beer fans, brewers, servers, and homebrewers!

Each participant will receive 2 ounces of each off-flavor in class and participate in discussion about how the off-flavors occur and what we can do to prevent them:

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

MAY 5 – MEXICAN LAGERS (16 people per class, $15, 7:00-8:00pm)

Do you like lagers? Want to learn more about the scope and variety of Mexican lagers? (It’s bigger than you think!) Join us to explore the history and flavors of world famous Mexican styles and their significance to beer styles of the world.

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different Mexican lagers discussed in class. Come in and learn more about your new favorite beer style.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

MAY 26 – MAKE A FIRKIN WITH FRIENDS – Michigan Fruit Firkins (16 people per class, $15, 7:00-8:30PM)

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).

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

The firkins will be served at our pub on July 1 at 12:00 PM. Grab your friends and family and come in to make something unique and never served before at Guardian!

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

JUNE 9 – HOW TO PAIR FOOD WITH BEER (16 people per class, $30, 7:00-8:30PM)

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 Abby, in Guardian’s kitchen that they pair well with.

You will leave this course feeling well-fed. Think of it as a cross-between a Beer Dinner and an educational experience. This course will feature different combinations than the ones we explored in 2020.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

JULY 21 – AMERICAN SOUR BEER (16 people per class, $20, 7:00-8:00PM)

Join us to celebrate how American 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.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

AUGUST 18 – IPAS OF THE USA (16 people per class, $20, 7:00-8:00PM)

Do you like IPAs? Let’s explore the HUGE variety of IPAs available in the USA this year! Join us to learn more about a favorite style still incredibly popular around the USA and the world after all these years.

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history and nuances behind the two different styles of American IPAs. 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!

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

SEPTEMBER 15 – GERMAN LAGERS (16 people per class, $15, 7:00-8:00PM)

Learn about German lagers styles just in time for Oktoberfest! (What is Oktoberfest anyway?!)

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind six different (classic and alternative) 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.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

OCTOBER 20 – WEIRD BEER/EXPLORATORY STYLES (16 people per class, $20, 7:00-8:00PM)

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.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

NOVEMBER 10 – STOUTS OF THE WORLD (16 people per class, $15, 7:00-8:00PM)

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind various stout styles. Where did these styles begin? Where have beer-makers world-wide taken the stout 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.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

DECEMBER 1 – MEET A WEST MICHIGAN BREWER (BOTTLE SHARE) (16 people per class, $20, 7:00-9:00PM)

During this 2-hour long class, we will invite brewers from 5 local breweries to talk about their beer and other interesting facts about their breweries (history, philosophy, etc.).

This course includes six 4-ounce tasters of different beer local beers discussed in class. Come learn something about a beer you have or haven’t had before and learn about why it’s important to craft beer in Michigan.

EVENT WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK OF THE BREWERY, SOCIALLY DISTANCED, WITH SANITIZED EQUIPMENT. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK TO CLASS.

DECEMBER 15 – BARREL-AGED BEER (16 people per class, $20, 7:00-8:00PM)

During this hour-long class, we will explore the history behind barrel-aged beer. 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.

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