Homebrew Education

More ways to immerse yourself in beer culture beyond the barstool

With topics such as “Beerrelevance” and “Tap These!,” Total Wine & More makes classroom learning a useful experience. Monthly sessions are held in-store, but you can brush up before your first day with the Total Guide to Beer, available online for instant edification. 730 S. Rampart Blvd., 933-8740; 501 N. Stephanie St., Henderson, 433-2709, TotalWine.com

At Lee’s Discount Liquor, you can get free in-store tastings at nearly all of the 17 Valley locations. Check out LeesLiquorLV.com for each store’s scheduled events.

Get hands-on with your hops studies at Big Dog’s Brew School, where head brewer Dave Otto leads you from pellets to pints in the course of a day. The outcome: a proper batch of ale made by you and your peers. And on top of enlightenment, each class comes with sweet perks, including lunch and drinks on class day, a graduation dinner (at a later date, when your project brew is ready to drink) and a filled growler you can take home. The next session is in the works for spring, but we suggest you carve out space in your calendar now. 4543 N. Rancho Dr., 645-1404, BigDogsBrews.com.

When you’re ready to try your hand at homebrewing, the Southern Nevada Ale Fermenters Union (SNAFU) welcomes new members to their informal monthly meetings, held the second Friday of every month at Aces & Ales. There you can clink pint glasses with veteran homebrewers, the sort who don’t mind chewing the ear off newbies about brewing. If you’re truly just starting out, first head to Vegas Homebrew & Winemaking (5140 W. Charleston Blvd., 207-2337, VegasHomebrew.com) for a kit and a primer. Then buy the saltiest-looking SNAFU member a beer and ask about “sparging technique.” 7:30 p.m., 3740 S. Nellis Blvd., SNAFUBrew.com.

If you’re a lady who loves that liquid gold, join the women of Barley’s Angels for some quality beer bonding time. Every first Saturday (or Sunday) of the month, the Las Vegas chapter of this national organization convenes to cultivate love for craft beer with meetings at venues around Las Vegas, such as Velveteen Rabbit and Hofbraühaus. The gals go to brewery tours—most recently Tenaya Creek—experiment with beer and cheese pairings, and attend festivals together. Plus they bring in guest speakers to share tricks of the trade. But no matter how much you know about beer, the Angels will welcome you with open arms … and bottles. Facebook.com/Barleys.AngelsLV.

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