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Craft beer: 5 ways to sound like an expert

On the Coast's beer columnist Rebecca Whyman's tips on how to learn more about beer

CBC NewsPosted: Jan 22, 2015 3:49 PM PTLast Updated: Jan 23, 2015 12:13 PM PT
Tip #1: drink more beer (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Tip #1: drink more beer (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) (The Associated Press)
So you've discovered you like craft beer. Now what?
On the Coast beer columnist Rebecca Whyman has a few tips on how to learn more about craft beer so you can sound like the smartest person at the party — at least when it comes to craft beer.

1. Drink more beer

Keep tasting beers. Keep trying to describe what you're tasting. Notice how the beers pair with foods. These are all things that begin a beer education.

2. Go to a beer tasting

Organizations like CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) offer classes to their members on a variety of topics. Many private liquor stores like Legacy Liquor Store offer tastings as well. Some of these are more formal than others.

3. Visit a brewery

Brewers and staff are great people to talk to about beer. Or go on a brewery tour - see behind the scenes and learn about how beer is made.

4. Read about beer

There are several beer magazines you can subscribe to, Taps magazine and Beer Advocate are both great resources.
Some of my favourite books are:
  • Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher.
  • Man Walks Into a Pub and Three Sheets to the Wind by Pete Brown.
  • Craft Beer Revolution by Joe Wiebe.
  • B is for Beer by Tom Robbins.

5. For advanced learners

If you want to get formal about it, go to beer school. Many colleges and universities have beer and brewing programs. Learn your beer styles and take the test to become a Cicerone or a Certified Beer Judge.
To listen to the full interview, including Rebecca Whyman's beer suggestions for this week, click on the audio labelled: Rebecca Whyman on craft beer education


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