Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top Hops To Offer Beer Education Classes

It’s Back to School at Top Hops Beer Shop 
Explore the world of craft beer through
classes, beer included

NEW YORK (September 10, 2013) —Top Hops Beer Shop, the all-beer-all-the-time retail store and tasting bar at 94 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, debuts its beer education series this month. Classes cater to both novices and experienced beer geeks alike, led by Certified Cicerone® instructor Justin Crider. Similar to a wine sommelier, a Certified Cicerone® possesses a complex knowledge of beer, having passed a series of exams.

Don’t know an ale from a lager? Curious about craft beer from Italy? There is a class for every beer drinker, experienced and soon-to-be experienced alike (full class schedule below and here).

Beer education is a natural addition for Top Hops. The retail store and bar specializes in beer from around the world and offers a selection upwards of 700 brands, both American craft and import. Customers are encouraged to come together to share their enthusiasm and gain a better understanding of the magic that is hops, yeast, barley and water.

“I’ve always loved the idea of an education series for our customers who want to learn more about craft beer,” says owner Ted Kenny. “Justin Crider is a fantastic instructor and we’re sure that people will leave this class with a greater appreciation and knowledge of craft beer.”

In a casual classroom setting, beginners will learn the basics of beer such as the difference between ale and lager, before being introduced to several major beer styles like the American Adjunct Lager and the Imperial Stout.

Higher-level classes will expand on the introductory class where students will take a trip through the world of hops, taste beers of Italy, expose themselves to wild and crazy beers, go through the process of barrel-aged beers, and become taste experts in the off-flavors of beer.

To register or find out more information, contact Top Hops at beer@tophops.com or call the shop at (917) 593-4656.


Introductory Class: Exploration of Beer Style

When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
Time: 12-1:30 p.m.
Cost: $35, including beer
Class is limited to 25 students

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between an Ale and a Lager? How about a Dry Stout or a Foreign Stout? What is beer actually made from? Wonder no more as we run through the basics of beer and introduce you to several major beer styles and the regions for which they're known. We'll discuss everything from the American Adjunct Lager to the Imperial Stout in this introduction to the wonderful world of beer. Whether you're already a beer lover or you're just dipping your toes in the water, we welcome you to join us for some fun times and fun brews.

More Experienced-level Classes

When: Five classes every other Monday, Sept. 16 – Nov. 11
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
Cost: $50 per class or $200 for series (5 classes), includes beer
Class limited to 10 students

Exploration of Hops, Monday September 16
Take a journey through the wonderful world of hops. Come see the unique characteristics imparted from different varietals as we dry-hop a series of beers with 12-18 different varieties. Hops will include various European, U.K., American, and Southern Hemisphere varietals.

Beers of Italy, Monday September 30
Come explore the rapidly expanding world of Italian Beer. Find out what makes a beer truly Italian as well as the unique interpretations of traditional styles. Beers may include AMA Blonde, Bruton Bianca, L’Ultima Luna and more.

Wild & Crazy Beers, Tuesday October 15 (* Note:  Class is on Tuesday as 10/14 is Columbus Day)
Jump down the rabbit hole to explore the world of wild beers and what makes them so unique. Pucker up as we dive into sour beer after sour beer and discuss the unique character that different wild strains provide. Beers may include items from Mikkeller, Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, New Belgium, and many more.

Barley to Barrel, Monday October 28
The world of barreled beers is constantly growing. Come explore the different effects of barrel finishing, aging, and fermenting and sample a wide variety of the styles that are suited for each. Possible beers may include, JW Lees Cask Harvest Ales, Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout, Firestone Walker XVI, Rodenbach Vintage, Hill Farmstead, and many more.

Guide to Off Flavors, Monday November 11
Ever wonder why your beer tastes like cardboard? Buttered popcorn? Vinegar? Wonder no more as we go through the most common off flavors, which beers they're most likely associated with, and their likely causes. You'll get to sample each one of the off flavors as well as do a blind tasting at the end to test your newfound knowledge. Off flavors will include:
Isoamyl Acetate, DMS, Diacetyl, Trans-2-Nonenal, Infection, and Acetaldehyde.


About Top Hops
Top Hops is located at 94 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002; Telephone: 212-254-4677; Website:www.tophops.com. Top Hops is open seven days a week: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 2-10 p.m.; Thursday 2-11 p.m.; Friday 2 p.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday 12 p.m.-12 a.m.; Sunday 12-8 p.m.

About Justin Crider
Justin Crider is a Certified Cicerone® with a passion for beer education and outreach. He fell in love with the world of beer after his first taste of Bourbon County Brand Stout in 2008 and has been obsessed ever since. He constantly strives to introduce those around him to new styles and products to have them question their perceptions of what beer can be. In addition to this passion, Justin is a classically trained cook as well as a member of the Guild of Sommeliers.

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