Learn to evaluate the flavor, smell and quality of beer and discuss these nuances with consumers, colleagues and friends.

Designed For
A course for c​raft beer distributors, advanced hobbyist brewers, beer connoisseurs, those involved in beer quality control, and s​tudents preparing for Cicerone testing.
February 27-28, 2016 in Portland, Oregon.

As a craft beer brewer, distributor, advanced hobbyist or beer connoisseur you are required to effectively communicate to others the flavor sensations of the many styles and varieties of beer. Our Beer Proficiency Testing and Sensory Analysis course equips you with the skills to evaluate the flavor, smell and quality of beer and discuss these nuances with consumers, colleagues and friends.

Learn more about brewing quality as it relates to hops, malt, yeast, water and other ingredients.  Time spent on sensory analysis includes hands-on exercises to improve your palate, introduction to different beer styles, retail beer storage best practices, how to detect aroma defects, positive and negative flavor origins and the flavor impacts of raw materials. 

Explore the craft brewing culture of Oregon with this four-day course in Portland, where you’ll attend classes at the state-of-the-art Oregon State University Food Innovation Center and take several field trips to local breweries, hops farms and other facilities related to beer production. You’ll find Beer Proficiency to be as much about a celebration of the locale and brewing culture in the Pacific Northwest as it is about understanding beer flavor.

This course is designed to help students prepare for the Certified Cicerone or Master Cicerone exams.

  • An overview of the beer industry and the brewing process.
  • The origins of flavor in beer including influences from raw materials and brewing techniques.
  • Beer proficiency as it relates to the use of hops, yeast, malt, water and other ingredients.
  • The characteristics of various beer styles.
  • Aroma reference standards for beer quality and aroma defects.
  • Methodology used by professionals in the brewing industry.
  • How to develop your palate through tastings and discussion.
  • How beer can work with food and understand beer and food pairing principles.
  • Tom Shellhammer

    Tom Shellhammer holding a glass of beer

    Tom Shellhammer is the Nor’Wester Professor of Fermentation Science in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University, where he directs the brewing education component of the fermentation science program and teaches courses about brewing science and technology, beer and raw materials analyses, plus the history, business and technology of the wine, beer and spirits industries. During the 2008-2009 academic year while on sabbatical leave from OSU he worked at the Technische Universität Berlin and the Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei as a Fulbright Scholar and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. Dr. Shellhammer is the International Section Chairman and member of the Board of Examiners for the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, London, England, a member of the Editorial Board of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas’ Technical Quarterly and Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Brewing Chemists. In addition to his research, Dr. Shellhammer is a sought-after educator of beer brewing science classes and was a featured expert in the 2011 Discovery Channel documentary “How Beer Saved the World.”

  • Jeff Clawson

    Jeff Clawson holding a pint of beer.

    Jeff Clawson is the Pilot Brewery and Food Processing Plant manager in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University. As part of the undergraduate Brewing Science program, he assists in the Brewing Analysis course. Additionally, he oversees the pilot brewing activities involved in all brewing research projects conducted at OSU. He has been executing descriptive/analytical and consumer sensory panels for beer since 1993 and educating students about the use of sensory science in the brewery for 17 years. He installed the OSU research brewery in 1995 and has been an instructor in Brewing Science since the Fermentation Science Program inception in 1996. Jeff’s approach to teaching is via experiential learning, which encourages students to learn by doing, and he promotes a very hands-on, technical understanding of sensory analysis, beer and the brewing process.

  • Daniel Vollmer

    Daniel Vollmer standing in a brewery.

    Daniel Vollmer is a graduate student at Oregon State University and a member of Dr. Thomas Shellhammer’s laboratory. He is pursuing a doctorate in Food Science and Technology and researching the origins of hop aroma in beer. Daniel is a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists and a certified Diploma Brewer, a title given by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, London, England. He completed the UC Davis Master Brewers Program in June of 2012 during which he participated in an internship at the Harpoon Brewing Company in Boston, Mass. Dan received his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

This course was an organized, well-executed and valuable addition to my professional brewing education.
Tara Doller, ​Ben E. Keith Company (Distributor)

This course is currently available only as an onsite class. Request more information to receive updates and news about future offerings of PACE courses.