Continuing Education

Beer Matters

Learn about the history of beer from ancient times and across the globe, to Prohibition, Superbowl ads, and more! You can learn at your own pace in this online class, and then join your classmates for biweekly meet-ups at local breweries. Class begins January 14. Bottoms up!


Meet Ups

Join your instructor and classmates at local breweries and locations related to the history of beer. Talk more about what you’ve been discussing in the class, learn from the brewers themselves, and more

Saturday, January 26 at 3:00 p.m.: Second Salem, Whitewater, WI
Our first meet up starts us off in Whitewater and the Second Salem Brewing Company. We’ll meet the brewmaster and learn more about the strange events, figures, and architecture providing rich stories that translate into extraordinary beer. Cost: $10 (includes light appetizers; beer not included)

Saturday, February 16 at 3:00 p.m.: Tyranena Brewing, & Sunshine Brewing Lake Mills, WI
Meet your instructor and fellow classmates for this "mini pub crawl" in nearby Lake Mills! We'll start in the tasting room at Tyranena for a taste of their "Legendary Wisconsin Beer."  Then we'll move to the taproom at Sunshine Brewing and learn more about their small batch, Belgian-inspired beer. Cost: FREE (beer available for purchase)

Saturday, February 23 at 1:00 p.m.: MobCraft Brewing, Milwaukee
Join classmates and your instructor in the MobCraft Taproom which offers flagships, crowdsourced beers, beers from MobCraft's Wild & Sour Program as well as a variety of taproom only releases.Cost: FREE (beer available for purchase)

Friday, March 8 at 5:00 p.m.: Rock County Brewing, Janesville, WI
Join at Rock County Brewing for our “last call” meet up. Discover different beer styles, hops, and characteristics within a beer and share your thoughts with your classmates. Cost: FREE, no registration needed (beer available for purchase; BYO snacks if desired)

Registration for the meetups is non-refundable.


Meet Your Instructor:

Karl Brown, Assistant Professor of History

“I’m really looking forward to teaching this MOOC once again. Before going to graduate school for my PhD in Modern European History, I worked in brewpubs in Japan and Greece, and this class gives me the chance to combine my formal training as a historian with my past experience as a professional brewer. It’s my goal that everyone who takes this class comes away from it with both a broad understanding of beer in history—from prehistoric times to Prohibition, and from colonial times to modern-day corporate mergers—and the basic knowledge necessary to brew beer, wine, mead, or any other fermented beverage.”

What is a MOOC?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are online learning experiences that aims to have unlimited participation. UW-Whitewater’s MOOCs are not offered for credit. No previous college-level or online learning experience needed, and are open to adults 21 years old and older.

The “Beer Matters” MOOC is comprised of six sections of content, including video lectures, reading materials, primary documents, and images. Participants are encouraged to participate at their own pace and interact with each other in discussion boards online. Sections are complimented by bi-weekly meet-ups at area breweries, led by the instructor of the course. Meet-ups are optional, but intended to further develop interaction and sense of community among participants.

Participation in the online class is free; participation in the meetups costs a minimal fee. You may participate in the online class without attending the meetups.‚Äč No beer or other alcoholic beverages are included in this fee. Participants may purchase beer on their own and are expected to drink responsibly.


Partners Include: