Leading My First Beer Class

Tomorrow night, I’ll be leading a beer class for the first time.

Beer imageI work at a public library, and I’ve convinced them to let me start up a Craft Beer Education Series. For the foreseeable future, I’ll be teaching a class every month about different aspects of beer appreciation. Tomorrow night’s class will be a beginner’s course called Craft Beer 101, and it offer a general overview of beer. We’ll talk about the major ingredients of beer and how they affect flavor and aroma, how beer is brewed, and how to properly taste a beer (and use your other senses too) to best evaluate and appreciate it.

I’m a little nervous. I know beer fairly well. I’ve traveled all over trying beer from different regions. This fall my wife and I will be taking our second trip to Belgium for this purpose, in fact. I’ve read plenty of beer tomes by greats like Michael Jackson and Randy Mosher. I’m currently studying in preparation for taking the exam to become a Certified Cicerone in the next 6 to 9 months. I know beer plenty well enough to teach an intro level course. Still, I feel a little anxious as I prepare to teach my first. I’m worried the information I’m teaching will be too dense, or take too long. I’m worried my nervousness will be obvious and the presentation will suffer for it. I’m worried no one will like the beers we’ll be tasting, or be able to identify any of the flavors or aromas we’ll be talking about. I’m worried it will be disappointing to everyone. Social anxiety is a thing I deal with anyway, so it gets amplified when performance anxiety gets mixed in.

Still, this is a thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ve got my notes ready, and some kick-ass handouts printed on nice, heavy stock paper. The class is almost full, as is the second, identical class I’ll be teaching next week (we’ll be offering two sessions for each topic). It’ll be over in no time, and I’ll be prepping for the next topic.

I’d rather not be nervous, but if I’m going to be, I’m glad it’s because I’m about to do something I’ve wanted to do for a while, something I want to do well. If you think of it tomorrow night, raise a glass and hope I’ve been successful.

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