Alementary – Get your learn on.

“That oxidization of that beer has skunked it. Too bad, it’s normally a very sessionable SMaSH”.

Did you just scratch your head and say “Huh”? Like a large percentage of people, better known as non-‘beer nerds’, the above phrase may has well be written in Latin or ancient Sanskrit. For those of us that do understand it, it’s taken a lot of time to learn through books, online research and being corrected after saying something dumb by those who know better (that last one may just be me). The whole process can be a bit daunting when starting out, but The Scratch has now made those first steps a bit easier.

12261711335_8802afc2d4Alementary is a new weekly education session at the Scratch starting the first Saturday of February. Designed for those who want to learn more about the beer they are drinking in a more relaxed atmosphere, these 1 hour sessions will go in depth into a new topic every week and hosting a variety of guest instructors. The current syllabus includes courses like ‘The Ingredients of Beer’, ‘Hop Varieties’, ‘The Darkness’ (a deeper look at darker beer for those intimidated), ‘Basics of Homebrewing’ and ‘Glassware’. There will also be special courses including ‘The Evolution of Beer’ with Matt Kirkegaard that will coincide with Craft Beer Rising on the 22nd of February. Courses run for $20pp, except for the ‘Glassware’ session at $60, which sees you walking away with a brand spanking new Spiegelau tasting kit including 4 glasses. Considering the kit alone retails at $59, this is a bargain. Alementary also offers the ‘Scratchploma’, achieved after completing 5 sessions. Think of it as your Cert IV in beer brilliance.

I really wish something like this was available when I first began my beer journey. The sheer volume of information out there makes it difficult and intimidating to really dive in. The Scratch folks were doing a great job in educating those new to proper beer anyway, but the addition of the Saturday morning sessions is sure to make those freshmen more comfortable. I’ll probably be taking in a few of these myself as I’ve been meaning to educate myself on hop varieties for some time now and I embrace any opportunity to further my knowledge. The fact that these courses also offer a fair bit of sampling as well is the icing on the cake.

Booking is necessary and can be done at the counter at Scratch or over the phone by credit card if you are unable to make it down. For full course descriptions and schedule, be sure to check out the website here: http://www.scratchbar.com/blog/view/what-is-alementary/. Class sizes are small, so you’ll need to book early, but with limited numbers, you’ll have a chance to really pick the brains of the pro’s.

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