I have been so excited for the start of The Origins and History of Brewing class at UCSD Extension. It is a one-unit elective in the Brewing Certificate Program and will consist of five classes over a two week period. One of the reasons this course is densely packed into two weeks is because Christopher McGreger, the instructor, lives in both Germany and Texas and has flown out to San Diego to teach the class. Yuseff shared with us last quarter what an amazing wealth of knowledge Christopher McGreger possesses on the history of brewing and encouraged everyone to take the class.
Christopher McGreger started out the class by giving us our extra credit assignment: brew a beer that resembles what the first settlers to America would have been able to brew when they first arrived. We will share our homebrew with the class and give a five minute presentation on what ingredients we used and why. The basic ingredients we will all start with are English hops (25-40 IBUs), Maple syrup, and yeast. We can add whatever else we think the first settlers may have used. There is only a week to get this brew going, so I will let you know what I come up with in a future post. This assignment really made the history of brewing feel tangible.
The books in the photo above were Christopher’s recommended reading and I can’t wait to get started! I am not a history buff, but I have been drawn in by Christopher’s intriguing knowledge and love the way it is presented as a cross between Stephen Hawking, Bill Bryson, and Michael Pollan’s styles. Here is a full list of the recommended reading:
- Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages
- Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human
- Hops and Glory
- Domestication of Plants in the Old World: The origin and spread of domesticated plants in Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean Basin
- Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
- From Beer to Molecular Biology
- The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the World