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. Bottoms up!

Meet Ups

Saturday, September 16: Old World Wisconsin, Eagle, WI, 10:00 a.m. 
Join us to watch brewers from the Museum of Beer and Brewing use equipment and techniques from the 1800s to brew beer using heirloom hops grown at OWW. Purchase craft beer on site from Mobcraft on site.

Saturday, October 7: Bent Kettle, Fort Atkinson, WI, 3:00 p.m.
We will visit Bent Kettle Brewing, one of the region’s newest breweries, serving craft brews like Insolence Double IPA and Thwack! An American Smoked IPA. See you in the Taproom!

Saturday, October 21: Second Salem, Whitewater, WI, 3:00 p.m. 
Our last meet up will bring us to Whitewater and the Second Salem Brewing Company. We’ll learn more about the strange events, figures, and architecture providing rich stories that translate into extraordinary beer.

For more information on the meet ups, contact Kari Borne at

Meet Your Instructor:

Karl Brown, Assistant Professor of History

“I’m really looking forward to teaching this MOOC on the history of beer for UW – Whitewater Continuing Education. 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. I’ve been teaching a (very popular) undergrad course on the history of beer and brewing at UW – W for a few years now; I think it’ll be really interesting to see how the course works in the format we’ve developed, in which we’ll be pairing online content and discussion with biweekly meet-ups at local breweries. 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: