Master Cicerone
Brewmaster
Certified Sommelier
Consultant
à la Bière
San Francisco
Consultant à la Bière
Master Cicerone


Beer School

with Master Cicerone and Brewmaster Rich Higgins

WINTER – SPRING 2018

Rich Teaching

at MIKKELLER BAR SF
34 Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94102
only 1 block from Powell St. BART Station

All class prices include a post-class draft beer of your choice at Mikkeller on the date of class (up to $10).


Certified Cicerone Exam
Prep Course:
Feb-March 2018


Interested in Cicerone Exam Prep Courses? Click here!

Fantastic beer classes continue at Mikkeller Bar SF! Developed and taught by Master Cicerone Rich Higgins, the tasting classes will offer beer fans a chance to explore a variety of subjects in beer. Become knowledgable about your favorite beverage, all while sipping a variety of beers from around the world in Mikkeller’s downstairs Sour Room!

Photo: Beer Class

See how much fun class can be when it includes drinking fantastic beer! Plus, tickets to the classes include a post-class beer at Mikkeller — celebrate your new knowledge after class with your pick from the draft list.

Rich is an experienced brewmaster, one of 13 Master Cicerones in the world, and a Certified Sommelier. He’s San Francisco’s premier beer educator, having taught over 100 beer classes, combining great information, personality, and beer into unforgettable classes.

  • All class prices include a post-class draft beer of your choice at Mikkeller on the date of class (up to $10).
  • Beer 101 Classes: introduction to the most important issues in beer; ideal for beer fans, beer connoisseurs, restaurant and bar staff, Certified Beer Server candidates, and general public
  • Beer 201 Classes: faster-paced, deeper dives into more advanced material; ideal for brewers, homebrewers, serious beer geeks, restaurant and bar staff, Certified Cicerone candidates, and anyone looking to take their knowledge to a higher level.
  • All class attendees must be 21 years of age or older.


Choose classes in the drop-down menu & buy securely via Paypal




Class Schedule

Beer 101: Yeast and Fermentation
Sunday, 1/7/18, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
90 min, 6 beers, min. 24 oz of beer
$55, includes a post-class draft beer of your choice (up to $10)
Tickets? Buy securely via Paypal.
Questions? Click to Send Rich a Message

Photo: beer class
Yeast! Fermentation! Whether you think they sound cool, nerdy, or gross, yeast is a part of every pint of beer, glass of wine, and slice of bread you’ve ever had. Brewers only make wort; it’s yeast that makes beer! The soul of fermentation, yeast happily munches up sugars and turns them into alcohol, carbonation, flavors, and acids. Join this tasting class that examines the role of ale yeast, lager yeast, and wild yeast in creating the cornucopia of fruity, spicy, and earthy flavors in the beers they ferment.

We’ll discuss yeast biology, beer fermentation, flavor interplay, and regional terroir, all the while tasting beers that illustrate the split personalities and charismatic characters of a brewer’s best friend: yeast!

Topics: fermentation, ale yeast, lager yeast, bacteria, hybrid beers, spontaneous fermentation, sugars, carbohydrates, esters, phenols, ethyl alcohol, fusel alcohols, hangovers

Beers Served (6): Belgian abbey ale, US IPA, German pils, kölsch, gose, lambic



Beer 201: Off-Flavors Advanced 12 – Good Beer Edition — SOLD OUT
** AT THE BEER HALL, 1 POLK ST., SAN FRANCISCO **
Saturday, 2/17/18, 12:00 – 2:00 PM
2 hrs, 12 off-flavors tasted twice each
$75, includes a post-class draft beer of your choice (up to $10)
Tickets? Buy securely via Paypal.
Questions? Click to Send Rich a Message

Photo: Off-FlavorsPhoto: Off-Flavors Standards

THIS CLASS IS NOW SOLD OUT.

Taste off-flavors in 2 great beer styles: IPAs and pilsners. Special SF Beer Week edition of Rich’s year-round offerings of Cicerone Prep Courses and Off-Flavors Seminars. Normally, off-flavors are dosed into the most neutral beer available, but Rich is upping the ante this SF Beer Week with some tastier beers that you actually want to drink: IPA and real pilsner!

This combo workshop-and-tasting-quiz covers the 12 beer off-flavors listed in the Advanced Cicerone Syllabus, with discussion of each compound’s flavor and aroma profile, source, and appropriateness. Each off-flavor is served and evaluated TWICE: first, during individual evaluation with discussion; second, during a blind taste test of all of the off-flavors plus a control beer.

Warning: using full-flavored beers will make it a bit more difficult to notice the off-flavors, but they make for a tastier, more fun event and are probably more realistic of how you might taste off-flavors in the real world. (For a more traditional off-flavors tasting, check out Rich’s Certified Cicerone Exam Prep Course.)

Off-Flavors Sampled (12): acetaldehyde, acetic acid, chlorophenols, diacetyl, DMS, H2S (hydrogen sulfide), isovaleric acid, lactic acid, lightstruck, mercaptan, metallic, and trans-2-nonenal



Beer 101: Dark Beers: Brown, Black & Burnt
Sunday, 3/4/18, 12:00 – 1:30 PM (note earlier time than other classes at Mikkeller)
90 min, 6 beers, min. 24 oz of beer
$45, includes a post-class draft beer of your choice (up to $10)
Tickets? Buy securely via Paypal.
Questions? Click to Send Rich a Message


Photo: .....

200 years ago, beer was dark — pale ale was rare and pilsner had yet to be invented. Malting technology made for dark beer, and drinkers loved toasty, roasty, smoky flavors that are much less common in beer nowadays. In this tasting class, we’ll learn about what makes a beer dark in color and what dark beers have in common with chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll dispel the misunderstanding that dark beer is synonymous with heavy, rich, and alcoholic, and instead we’ll appreciate what opportunities and challenges dark malts present in the brewhouse, in the glass, and at the dinner table.

Topics: malting, roasting, kilning, caramelization, maillard products, melanoidins, Daniel Wheeler, braunbier, porter, stout, dunkel, acidity, astringency, bitterness, sweetness, carbonates

Beers Served (6): dry stout, oatmeal stout, dunkel, imperial stout, black IPA, “blond stout”



Beer 201: Beyond Barley: Alternative Fermentables
Sunday, 4/1/18, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
90 min, 6 beers, min. 24 oz of beer
$45, includes a post-class draft beer of your choice (up to $10)
Tickets? Buy securely via Paypal.
Questions? Click to Send Rich a Message


Photo: .....

Barley is the perfect grain for brewing delicious beer, but it’s not the only grain that brewers use. At the most basic level of beer making, grain is the food that is fed to yeast to drive fermentation and to create alcohol, but every grain and type of fermentable sugar leaves its own distinct mark on the finished beer, affecting flavor, mouthfeel, price, and drinkability. Brewers use alternate fermentables and adjuncts, to tap into regional terroir, history, stylistic flavor, and other reasons, so being able to detect and understand brewers’ ingredient choices is an essential aspect of beer appreciation.

Topics: carbohydrates, starch, sugars, malt, barley, wheat, rye, oats, corn, rice, candi sugar, honey, maple syrup, fruit, potatoes, lactose, chaptalization, specific gravity, mashing, polyphenols, mouthfeel

Beers Served (6): American standard lager, Belgian tripel, weissbier, witbier, rye pale ale, oatmeal stout



Beer 101: Intro to Belgian Beer
Sunday, 5/6/18, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
90 min, 6 beers, min. 24 oz of beer
$45, includes a post-class draft beer of your choice (up to $10)
Tickets? Buy securely via Paypal.
Questions? Click to Send Rich a Message


Photo: .....

The variety of Belgian beer is enormous and delicious! Full of secrets and panache, Belgian brewers are artists that cautiously guard their recipes and yeast strains, and that think of their beers as works of art rather than anything that can be pigeon-holed into beer styles. The result is a country full of complex beers — that are complex to study. Rich’s Intro to Belgian beer is the perfect class for an introductory tasting of important beer flavors, regions, and brewing techniques of this small nation and its outsized, iconoclastic, and delicious beer tradition.

Topics: Trappist and abbey beers, farmhouse ale, sour beer, Belgian candi sugar, yeast, bacteria, fermentation, acidity, esters, phenols, fusel alcohols, fruit, oak-aging, terroir

Beers Served (6): witbier, Belgian dubbel, Belgian tripel, saison, gueuze, Flanders red ale


Choose classes in the drop-down menu & buy securely via Paypal




Stay up to date by following me on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for my email newsletters to stay in the loop.

Photo: Off-Flavors
Photo: .....


Click the links below for more information about Rich’s Classes, Events, and Beer Immersions Travel:

Cicerone Exam Prep Courses
Back to Events & Classes page
Rich Higgins Beer Immersions Travel to Belgium & Germany


Events & Classes Menu