By Holly Desrosier
Looking for a cup of cheer to pick you up after the holidays? Come brew one for yourself during Craven Community College’s (Craven CC) new Introduction to Home Brewing class. The class will be held on the New Bern Campus every Tuesday from 6-9 p.m., Jan. 15 through April 2.
Introduction to Home Brewing is designed for entry-level home brewers with little or no experience and will familiarize students with beer styles, expose them to various brewing technologies and provide hands-on experience with beer brewing and tasting in a safe environment. All participants must provide a valid federal or state identification card to verify they are 21 or older.
“While this may seem like an Adult Enrichment class, believe it or not, a home brewing class is something that can lead to employment,” said Jeff Schulze, workforce development coordinator. “Just take a look at the tri-county area and how many microbreweries have opened in the last 10 years. Craven County alone has at least two, and within a 50-mile radius, there are close to a dozen microbreweries. There probably would be no argument that all those brew masters started out as home brewers.”
A new aspect of home brewing will be explored during each of the 12-week sessions. Classes will cover topics such as chemicals, sanitation and equipment; fermentation; recipe formulation; brewing and bottling; grain preparation; mashing; and sampling.
“We want to provide a well-structured curriculum for those interested in exploring home brewing,” said Schulze. “And who knows—a student in this class could be the next one to open up a microbrew business in Craven County.”
The class is a collaboration between Craven CC’s Workforce Development department and Brütopia Brewing Company, a craft brew house and homebrew supply store located in James City. Tim Dryden, a co-owner of Brütopia, will be co-instructing with Rob Jones. Jones, who has been brewing for 25 years, said this class is for anyone who has the desire to learn about beer and how it’s made.
“I wanted to share the knowledge that I have gained over the last 25 years of brewing,” he said. “When I started brewing, information was garnered from brewer to brewer in person. Today, there is a wealth of information on the web, but can it totally be trusted?”
Jones’ passion for brewing actually inspired his wife, Dawn, to start brewing her own batches about five years ago. She is now the Operations Manager at Brütopia and serves as president of the local Alcohol Through Fermentation (ATF) Homebrew Club.
Despite his years of experience, Jones said he is constantly learning different methods and new recipes. “That is almost more fun than drinking the finished results,” he said.
He plans to have a tasting at the end of the class, with a successfully brewed beer as an indicator of his students’ understanding. He hopes participants will walk away from the class with sufficient knowledge to experiment and brew their own beer at home.
“Ideally, those that complete the class will be able to get their first brew kit and know exactly what to do with it and make great tasting beer,” Jones said. “The students will get in 12 weeks what took me 25 years to gain.”
Raise your glass to this new learning opportunity, channel your untapped potential and hop on in to register today! The class has a 15-student limit and the cost is $180, which includes the supply fee. For more information or to register, contact Schulze at 252-638-5467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article also appeared in the Sun Journal.