July 10th, 2012 by Crafty Pint
The efforts to educate Australians about beer are set to redouble next week with the formal launch of BeerSpace in Melbourne. Targeting everyone from craft beer novices to staff at fine dining establishments, the organisation has pooled experts from various areas of the beer industry who will be on hand to host a range of courses. At the entry level are straightforward introductions to beer, while there will also be multi-stage courses that will train people to gain what they are terming the “Master Sommelier” accreditation.
A joint enterprise between the owner of venues including the Belgian Beer Cafes and beer judge and educator George Theoridis, BeerSpace kicks off with a session on Beer Taints at the Belgian Beer Cafe Eureka on Tuesday.
“We think it’s about time people had an opportunity to enjoy and understand beer as well as they enjoy wine,” says George. “Most people aren’t really aware of how interesting and complex a beer can be.
“The aim is to help develop the base of knowledge in both the public and industry so that more people can put good beer in front of punters in a bar or restaurant environment so that they can enjoy this wonderful beverage. It’s too much about wine in restaurants and bars, so it’s about time beer took its rightful place on the table alongside fine wine and food.”
As well as education, BeerSpace is also offering the chance to achieve various levels of accreditation, from “Beer Server & Vendor” through “Beer Steward” and “Beer Sommelier” to “Master Beer Sommelier”. Among those who will be assisting with the courses are some who have been granted honorary “Master Beer Sommelier” status, including James Greenfield and Miro Bellini, who regulars at Melbourne venues such as Beer DeLuxe and Josie Bones will know.
The intention is also to tailor training for venues that are keen to learn more about beer, whether that is in the form of basic beer education for staff, the designing of a beer list or education on the importance of storing beer correctly and maintaining clean beer lines.
Siobhan Kerin, manager at Beer DeLuxe, is part of the training team. She says: “Brewers are concerned about how their beer will be treated. You only get one chance to put good beer in front of people for the first time so you want to make sure it is being served through a clean line and is tasting as the brewer intends. We want to make sure that this one chance converts somebody.
“Brewers don’t want to put their beer just anywhere because they want to ensure that their product is served how they sent it out. It’s important to educate staff and hospitality venues so that they understand what they are serving and how it needs to be handled. And with more and more beer bars are opening, we need more properly trained staff.”
Tuesday’s Beer Taints session kicks off at 6pm and BeerSpace is offering a 10 per cent discount for both that session and future courses to anyone who signs up to their newsletter before the end of July. Class sizes will be kept to a maximum of between 16 and 20. The aim is that, once established in Melbourne, BeerSpace will look to expand.
We’re running a competition in this Friday’s Crafty newsletter to win tickets to the subsequent session – Appreciating Good Beer: An Introduction – on July 28. To find out more, head to the BeerSpace website.
Photo above taken at the last BeerFun session, held in the same room that will host BeerSpace.