The Beer Sommelier project is implemented by our company in the popular edutainment format combining education and entertainment for full-aged students. The project is a course of topic-related lectures in different cities and towns of Russia aimed to transfer knowledge about the beer production technology, classification of brands, tasting rules and, first and foremost, the culture of beer consumption.
A pilot course of the Beer Sommelier lectures was delivered in 2011 in St Petersburg; in 2012 the lectures were already delivered in 12 cities all over Russia. In 2013 they were organized in 10 Russian cities and for the first time in Kyrgyzstan.
The lectures combine practical and a theoretical parts: unexpected facts about beer and the history of the drink, interesting details about the production process precede training in the fundamentals of tasting that takes place at the end of the lesson. The students of the course learn the nuances of the Baltika beer brands familiar to the Russian consumer as well as samples of the global brewing.
On-site Beer Sommelier lectures are regularly supplemented with audiopodcasts – brief interviews with experts well-known in the brewing industry who tell about unknown and sometimes not evident aspects of brewing. You can find a collection of such interviews here: http://beer.podfm.ru/.
The first course of the Beer Sommelier lectures took place in St Petersburg and consisted of 8 lectures. The “pilot” course was delivered by 4 foreign brewers (2 of them being the “living legends”: Martin Dickie from BrewDog who had brewed the strongest beer in the world of 55% and Mikkel Borg Bjergso (Mikkeller), the legend of collaboration brewing) as well as Tatyana Meledina, Professor, PhD, Head of Chair of food biotechnology at SPbSULT&FT, Yuri Katunin and Nikita Filippov, Baltika experts.
Courses of lectures were delivered in Moscow, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Voronezh, Yaroslavl, Krasnoyarsk, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod and Khabarovsk.
The most popular lectures of 2013 included the following:
Myths and Legends about Beer delivered by blogger and beer-traveller Nikita Filippov;
Beer and Food: Rules of Combining, Tasting and Serving compiled by Sigrid Stretkveri, the founder of Ringnes Beer Center in Norway, the author of the book “Beer with a Knife and a Fork”, an expert of the beer and food combination;
History of Brewing where a guest from Rostov Sergei Derkach, a historian, lecturer of the Southern Federal University (SFU, Rostov-on-Don) expanded on the history of brewing from the earliest historical times, also speaking about brewing in Russia in the XIX and early XX centuries;
IPA Style where Yuri Katunin, the creator of the museum of brewing history at Baltika - St Petersburg spoke about the specific features of the beer production technology, the ingredients and about what makes beer bitter; the participants had an opportunity to determine in practice the bitterness of beer in the professional measurement units and to learn to determine the IPA style (India Pale Ale – an English brand of bitter strong beer with high hop content).
A significant event of the Beer Sommelier educational course of lectures in 2012 was the meeting with a famous and world-known blogger and writer Peter Brown.
In 2012 the lectures were attended by more than 2,000 people.
In 2013 lectures were delivered in Tula (1), Voronezh (3), Yekaterinburg (3), Krasnoyarsk (3), Novosibirsk (3), St Petersburg (16), Moscow (4), Rostov-on-Don (2), Volgograd (1), Yaroslavl (1) and Kyrgyzstan (2).
The most noteworthy lectures of 2013 were:
Historical insight “I was also there and drank honey and beer…”within the frames of which the creator of the museum of brewing history in the South of Russia Sergei Derkach spoke about the unknown facts in the global history of brewing and uncovered still unknown aspects of the impact of beer on the development of culture, art and production technologies in the history of mankind.
The lecture “Reading the Beer Label Attentively”: the students got information for practical use in selecting beer in a store and learnt the natural ingredients from which the foamy drink is brewed.
At the lecture “Beer Classification” Wolfgang David Lindell, a brewer of Danish Jacobsen Brewery (Carlsberg Group), a global-scale beer expert having a lot of prizes and awards told the audience about different brands and varieties of the foamy drink.
Young, but already well-known Danish chef Rasmus Kronborg told about the possible combinations of beer varieties and food in an entertaining manner.