Wilton Continuing Education offers beer brewing and tasting class

Charter Oak Brewing founder P. Scott Vallely will lead a beer brewing and tasting course at Total Wine on Wednesday, Oct. 19 for one of Wilton Continuing Education’s new fall courses — From Grain to Glass: Beer Brewing Process & Tasting.

It is just one of many new cuisine class offerings Wilton Continuing Education is offering this semester. Classes are held at different locations and they include Healthy Indian Cuisine & Ideal Wine Pairing, Fresh From The Farm: Winter Salads & Slaws, Monkey Bread Baking & Focaccia Pizza Party at Wave Hill Breads Bakery and Cupcake Creations: An Interactive Workshop.

During the 6:30-8:30 p.m. beer brewing class, participants will learn about the process of brewing beer, as well as the dynamic world of craft beer in Connecticut.

“There are now 41 breweries in our state,” said Vallely, a lifelong Connecticut resident who currently lives in New Canaan. “There were only five when we started.”

Before founding the New Canaan-based Charter Oak Brewing Company in 2011, Vallely homebrewed beer for 35 years.

“When I first started, neighbors thought I had an illegal ‘still’ in the basement,” he said. “Forward to 2011, we started the company and have been marketing our beers to Connecticut since 2012.”

Not only is supply growing, said Vallely, “but demand continues to outpace what our state brews, hence there are literally dozens of regional and national craft brewers entering Connecticut.”

“The current in-state breweries remain a tight knit community with lots of dialogue between us to learn from each other and brew the very best beer,” he said.

“Most craft beer-drinkers choose local over national. It’s fresh, small operator, and we always brew with only the finest hops and barley — never any adjuncts or artificial flavorings.”

During his continuing education class, Vallely said, he will cover “all things grain to glass.” Vallely will discuss barley and hops — the primary ingredients for beer — and give a crash-course on brewing.

The class will conclude with a tasting of Charter Oak Brewing beers — accompanied by handmade pretzels baked by local breadmaker Rob VanKeuren — and a narrative on “how to sample beer,” said Vallely.

Vallely — who recently attended the American Brewing School and enrolled in its Intense Engineering and Science of Brewing course for a certification as a brewmaster — said he conducts in-store tastings and seminars frequently and “thoroughly” enjoys talking about brewing and beer.

“I am looking forward to having a bunch of folks attend our clinic on Oct. 19 and learn more about beer and become engaged,” he said.

“The craft beer world is all about reaching out to small groups and having them excited to try local beers. This is a perfect example.”

There is a $10 materials fee, payable to the instructor. For more information or to register, visit wiltoncontinuinged.org.

To learn more about Charter Oak Brewing, visit charteroakbrewing.com.