Newbies and neophytes (and those of us who know and love them), listen up!  The Brickskeller has pioneered an educational series to help indoctrinate novices in the great history of beer.  Recent email blasts from Dave Alexander tout the three-day course, which you can take in individual sessions or all-together, as educational, informative, and fun.

Bartender and Bar Manager, Rachel Murray, who has been perfecting her “beer school” format for some time now, will be teaching these courses between July 12-28.  For those who wish to learn more about beer, or anyone who would enjoy brushing up on the basics with friends, several options are available.

Tickets can be purchased on the Brickskeller/RFD website,  Each course will cost $35.00 and will include sample portions of “at least 12 world class rare, delicious and historically significant beers.” Classes meet in the Brickskeller downstairs bar back room. Sessions start at 7PM and run til about 9PM.

An overview of the courses:

Session 1: What is beer? Overview of the Basics
Choose your date – Monday July 12, Tuesday July 13 or Wednesday July 14


*A brief history of beer’s origins
*Ale vs Lagers
*Ingredients: Quick overview of how water, barley, hops and yeast contribute to a beer’s flavor and aroma
*Focus: The mystery of yeast and it’s contributions to the flavor and aroma
*Focus: The uses of malted barley to achieve certain flavors or colors
*Why are there different kinds of glassware available?
*The Alcohol by Volume (ABV%)

Session 2: Around the World
Choose your date Monday July 19, Tuesday July 20 or Wednesday July 21

*Revist the brewing process: Quick overview of the ingredients and the process
*Learn more about why certain styles are inherent to certain regions / countries: Lagers of Bavaria and Bohemia vs Belgian Ales
*What is the difference between Abbey beers and Trappist beers? A little more history on Belgian Beer
*Growth of interest in Belgian beer
*Bottle Conditioning and the ability to age beer (it’s not just for wine folks)
*The contribution of adjuncts and the popularity of fruit in your beer
*What goes with what? Info on beer and food pairings

Session 3: The Awakening of American Taste Buds
Choose your date – Monday July 26, Tuesday July 27 or Wednesday July 28

*Revisit English Beer: What is meant by “Real Ale” and Cask Beer? And the Birth of the IPA
*Focus: The varieties of hops, how their grown, when they’re added, and the International Bitterness Units (IBUs)
*Why did industrial macrobeer lagers permeate the US market?
*The American Craft Beer Revolution: The growth of the craft beer industry in the past couple of decades
*Local Beer: Learn what the Washington, DC / Baltimore area has to offer the beer enthusiast

The Brickskeller is located at 1523 22nd Street NW, in Washington, DC.  Learn more at