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Learn yourself beer

By thirsty hack Ignatius Rake

Posted October 29, 2015
CAMRA releases sixth edition of 'Cellarmanship' guidebook while BA updates online Beer 101 course
Education, education, education: Learn some beer, innit? © Ignatius Rake

CAMRA releases sixth edition of 'Cellarmanship' guidebook while BA updates online Beer 101 course.

The UK's Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has just published the sixth edition of Cellarmanship, which a press release describes as its "definitive professional guide to cask ale".

Written by cask beer expert and author Patrick O'Neill1, Cellarmanship, CAMRA says, "is an essential book for publicans, brewers and other professionals working in the drinks trade" as it outlines "all you need to know about cellaring and serving real ale, with step-by-step instructions, concise information, illuminating anecdotes and – for this edition – new content on KeyCask, FastCask and other recent technologies".

"Cask Beer is outperforming the rest of the beer market and is now the most popular way to serve ale," the press release states.

"But as the author highlights in his introduction, this growth can present its own issues when it comes to training bar staff."

"Caring for cask-conditioned beer, a product now almost unique to Great Britain, requires some learnt skills and technique."

The easy-to-follow guidance is therefore "essential reading for those that want to serve the best possible pint of cask-conditioned beer."

Priced at £6.99 ($10.70) a pop, the sixth edition of Cellarmanship can be bought via the CAMRA online shop here.

"The narrated course includes multiple videos and now also features a downloadable worksheet that can serve as a helpful study guide later on."

BEER 101
Meanwhile, in a similar vein the US Brewers Association (BA) has now unveiled an updated version of its Beer 101 Course on its website.

The course, a BA press release states, "is designed for anyone who works in retail sales, the restaurant industry or is simply a burgeoning craft beer enthusiast seeking a quick and reliable introduction to the beer universe".

As such, Beer 101 covers the history of beer; brewing ingredients and processes; such "vital statistics" as ABV, SRM, IBU and gravity; styles; tasting; glassware; and pairing beer and food.

The narrated course includes multiple videos and now also features a downloadable worksheet that can serve as a helpful study guide later on.

The course concludes with the Beer 101 Quiz, a 21-question test that must be completed in 20 minutes.

A printable certificate of completion is also available for download.

"Beer beginners are thirsty for craft beer knowledge," explains Julia Herz, publisher and BA craft beer programme director.

"As the leading voice of small and independent US craft brewers, we are pleased's Beer 101 Course has become a quick and easy introduction for so many budding beer enthusiasts."

Indeed, more than 6,000 people have taken the Beer 101 Course since its launch in 2010.

The course takes about one hour to complete and costs $20, with those that don't pass with 75% or more able to retake the quiz for a full year before having to reregister.

See also CAMRA London pub guide launched, posted 2/7/15, among others.

Ignatius Rake
is a freelance journalist, geographer and world traveller who has visited more than 70 countries on six continents. He has written on numerous subjects for various publications and is available for hire and commissions. He can be contacted by email here.


1) Patrick O'Neill is the author of five previous editions of Cellarmanship, all published by CAMRA. According to CAMRA, he studied physics and spent more than 30 years working as an engineer in the electronics industry. "His science and engineering experience proved useful in running CAMRA beer festivals and for several decades the bar and cellar of a busy private members' club and this book was produced as a result of that experience," CAMRA says. "The technical aspects of making, keeping and selling beer have always been of consuming interest to him." So there.

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