Cocktails & Spirits

The Academy of Beer: Drink in the Knowledge at Books & Books

It's alright. We completely understand.

Until now, Miami hasn't been much of a beer city so you haven't felt like you needed to learn too much about brewskis. The only thing you really had to know was that Corona Light was for the beach and Budweiser for tailgating.

Then, it happened. You turned away from your vodka and cranberry for just one second to find everyone in our fair city drinking craft beer -- leaving you to scratch your head in confusion over whether to order an IPA or a hefeweizen with your grass-fed beef burger.

Like so many New Yorkers who move to Miami and get into the driver's seat for the first time at the age of 25, you need to learn what may be intuitive to most of the country. And where's the best place to seek knowledge in any city? Your local bookstore!

Books & Books in Coral Gables is hosting the Academy of Beer during the month of October. For four Thursdays in a row, you'll learn everything you need to not only know about beer -- you'll become a diploma carrying expert in the subject. From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. each Thursday, starting October 3, you'll learn a different facet of the wonderful world of beer through lectures, hands-on displays and (yes... oh yes...) samplings. Because, duh, how else are you going to get schooled?

Each class will be taught by an expert from Brown Distributing and will include sampling of some of the world's best beer, paired with special beer-inspired hors d'oeuvres created by Chef Allen Susser.

Just in case you think the Academy of Beer is all drinking games, think again. Because before you get your special diploma, you'll have to endure a final exam of blind tastings to prove your beer knowledge. After passing the rigorous exam, you'll feast with a special graduation dinner prepared by Chef Allen, with beer pairings (of course)!

The four-week course is $99 per person and includes beer tastings, beer-inspired bites, course material, and your graduation dinner. Email to register. Space is limited, and your beer knowledge is not going to get any better just sitting here drinking that Bud Light, so sign up now!

Here's the course rundown:

Thursday, October 3: Intro To Beer

Beer 101 - What it's all about and how it is made?

Ingredients - Ingredients used to make beer

Craft Beer - What is craft?

Ales vs. Lagers - Intro to yeast and the two main classifications of beer

Thursday, October 10: Beer Styles 101

All Beer Styles - Intro to different styles of beer

Similar Styles - What's different and what is not? Porter vs. stout IPA vs. pale ale

East Coast vs. West Coast style IPA's

Thursday, October 17: European Beers and Imports

Belgian ales

English Ales

German ales, lagers, and hybrids

French Ales

Abby Ales

Thursday, October 24: Big Bold Beers & Beer Graduation Dinner

Sour Beers, Wild Ales, and Spontaneous Fermentation

Belgian Quads and Strong Ales

Barley Wines

Double and Triple IPA's

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss