This noncredit course is part of Brew School, launched by CNM Ingenuity at Central New Mexico Community College. Brew School has held three previous classes – two on beer and one on wine.
CNM brewing and beverage management instructor Nick Jones will teach the Ale Beer Styles course.
“We will be going over lots of different ale styles of beer, which includes everything from India Pale Ale (IPA) all the way to Belgian-style ales, which range from approachable to very sour and kind of cutting-edge style stuff,” Jones said. “We will be covering a lot of different beer styles. It’s very exciting.”
This is a hands-on style class, and participants will get to taste, smell and get a feel for the ales.
“It’s 21 and over only, and we will be tasting the beers, discussing them and kind of talking about the history, where they come from and the difference between ale beer styles and lager beer styles and all that stuff,” Jones said.
The class will cover a variety of sources, including local breweries.
“We have some local breweries that we will be sampling as well as historically kind of accepted examples of styles,” Jones said. “For something like a fruit lambic, there’s kind of a very classically accepted style, which we will be tasting. I try to spread it all over, but definitely focus on local as well, because I think we have so much great beer here in New Mexico that it is really important to make everyone aware of that.”
Jones is aware of the local beer scene. He has been brewing professionally since 2003 and has done distilling at Santa Fe Brewing Co. and Santa Fe Spirits.
Jones formats the noncredit courses similarly to his credit courses at CNM.
“The content that we cover, the ale beer styles, it’s just part of our actual for-credit curriculum,” he said. “The eventual idea – we’re not quite there yet – but the eventual idea is that if you take the lager-style class, take the ale-style class, if you take the off-flavors class, a few other classes on the noncredit side, then eventually you could get all that credit together and actually kinda merge it into a credit. So you can actually count that for credit toward a degree. … That’s kind of the buzzword that everyone’s using, and that’s how I’m designing the beer school classes, the not-for-credit classes. If you take one or two of them and you’re like ‘wow this is really fun’ and take a couple more, you may suddenly find yourself only one or two classes away from an actual college credit, which you can transition into a for credit program.”
Taking the Brew School courses is a good way to get a feel for the brewing industry and see if it’s something to pursue.
“It’s a great way to figure out whether it’s something you’re going to be interested in or not,” Jones said. “The noncredit ones are fun. Anyone can enjoy going to learn about ales, IPAs and Belgian ales. As you get more and more of a taste for it, you’ll get a better idea of whether you want to turn it into a career or not.”