MOOC as Promotion: Brewers Association Launches Beer Course

In an effort to draw attention to beer's culinary role, the Brewers Association announced a five-day course on how to best pair the popular beverage with food. The first four days of the course are open to the public.

Who doesn’t want to learn more about beer?

The Brewers Association, in an effort to make room for a few craft brews in the culinary arena, has launched a five-day Beer & Food Course, a massive open online course (MOOC) that offers lessons on how to best taste, pour, and serve beer, as well as how to integrate it with different edibles.

The idea? To give beer, which is a larger industry than wine, a place at the culinary table. (Another association, the Illinois HomeCare and Hospice Council, has found success with a similar strategy.)

“Interest in broadening craft beer knowledge is high; however, many of today’s food educators do not know where to access adequate information on beer and food pairing,” the association’s craft beer program director, Julia Herz, said in a news release. “This course empowers students and educators to bring the diverse beverage of craft beer into the kitchen and onto the table.”

Herz, a certified Cicerone—i.e. a beer expert—helped create the course with Adam Dulye, a culinary consultant with the association.

Even if you’re not training to become a chef, the course is open enough that you may be able to get a few cues from the industry group. The first four days of the course, which are covered in a 60-page manual that includes a section on pairing beer with cheese, along with details on the various types of beer, are free and open to the public; the fifth day, which accredited instructors can sign their classes up for, consists of a 50-question written exam and a two-part pairing exam in which students put together a three-course menu, prepare the items, and choose craft beer to complement them.

In the long run, the association hopes to take courses like this one and use them to help build a stronger tradition between the two disciplines.

“By stripping the topic of craft beer and cuisine down to the most basic of beginnings, we can build a strong foundation from which experimentation and expertise can be pursued in years to come,” the manual states.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!