In yesterday’s post, starting to expound on the Individual Beer Learning Plan (IBLP), we covered Topics. Today we cover Tools. Dig in.

What tool can help you learn about this piece of brewing equipment?

Tools:

What’s available to you? What can you find tool wise that can help your quest to learn about beer? Where are these resources and how will you go about discovering them? Keep reading.

Are the resources online? The incredible and almost taken for granted World Wide Web that’s at fingertip reach is an extraordinary resource. You can find virtually everything you’d want and if you don’t you can create it yourself! There are hundreds of sites to choose from so root around and see what resonates, what you like, and keep searching and returning.

Is offline more your style? Then by all means, go for it that way. Books, magazines – “walk the stacks”, journals, newspapers, and so on are voluminous and very mine-able.

What about your local library? You support your local brewery so support your local library. The success of libraries depends on usage. Help them out by helping yourself. Plus many if not most libraries these days also have free internet access so you can double up your efforts. It’s also a great place to preview books and magazines to see if you want to buy them as well.

Are there hard publications you can pick up at your favorite local? There are a handful of free beer publications that get distributed around the country. Some pubs, breweries, taprooms, and beer stores have them available for the taking. Take them with you.

Are there people to talk with and follow? You may find a few people online that make you shout “YES!” when you read what they’re sharing. Go ahead and contact them if they have a contact page and let them know you like their work and would like to chat with them. Maybe they have suggestions for you as well. The only thing lost is if you don’t ask.

What institutions can help you out?

What of classes and seminars? Lots of communities will offer classes through community education, extension programs or educational institutions. Make some phone calls to find out who offers what. The superb bonus to taking classes is you’ll meet other beer-interested people. Maybe they become a resource or study friend or both.

Conferences and tutorials one on one? If there’s an accomplished brewer or home brewer in your area, call them to see when they’d have time to talk with you. If you do this, have some specific things in mind to talk about and be mindful of their time. Brewing is a lot of work and takes up a lot of time – be respectful and stay on time. Both groups – professionals and home brewers – are enthusiastic, have different facets to share and are generally happy to talk with people who want to know more about beer.

Where can you volunteer to learn more while participating? That small thing called a “Beer Festival” is relatively common. A quick internet search will yield plentiful listings of festivals involving beer. Contact the organizers or a favored brewery and ask if they’re looking for volunteer help. From set up to serving to tear down, chances are good a willing and energetic person is welcome. And it’s a lot of fun to work with brewery and distributors staff on festivals and events. States differ on laws per volunteer servers and any permits needed so be sure to ask about that, when appropriate.

Part 1: Topics

More to come

Categories: Beer, Education & Training, Something To Think About
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