Get Schooled on Craft Beer at the Kettlehouse Beer Kolledge


Imagine earning a degree in “beerology” or a diploma in “pint sciences.”

Beginning Monday, February 20, “students” can sign up and start the Kettlehouse’s new, free four-credit class that covers everything from how beer is brewed to how it tastes.

The Northside brewers, Todd Crowell and Mike Elliot, spent months trying to figure out how they could share their love of beer with the larger community. They knew that other breweries offered tours and tastings, but they haven’t seen anyone making a class out of it quite like this.

“We’re excited about meeting more of our customers,” says Crowell, “and we’re excited to talk about beer. We think that the more people know about beer the more they will want craft beer.”

Crowell has been brewing at Kettlehouse’s northside brewery for over two and half years. Before that, he brewed for Grand Teton Brewing Company in Idaho.

“I’m hoping it will be successful so we can launch more tours this summer and do the class again next year,” explains Crowell. Kettlehouse normally doesn’t give public tours, so this will help them test out the process.

Crowell also encourages potential “students” to stay up on the latest updates through Kettlehouse’s Facebook page and website. There may be some conflicting information out there.

“We are asking people to please be patient with us,” Crowell says. “This will be a learning process for us too.”

So what exactly is this Kettlehouse Beer Kolledge? Here is the full syllabus, as listed on Kettlehouse’s Facebook page:

This is a four-credit class and is designed to be fun!

Go to the Kettlehouse website

Credit One – Northside Brewery Tour (NO OPEN-TOED SHOES ALLOWED)

  • Where: 313 N 1st St West, Missoula
  • What: Tour of the working brewery – see where the magic happens!
  • When: Mondays and Tuesdays at 6pm. First tour starts on February 20. Last tour on Tuesday March 20.
  • How: Sign up starts at 4pm. You must be present to be eligible.

Credit Two – Northside Guided Beer Tasting

  • Where: 313 N 1st St West, Missoula
  • What: Learn how to taste beer like a pro with a pro!
  • When: Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:00 pm. First class starts on February 20. Last class on Tuesday March 20.
  • How: First come first served.

Credit Three – Sampler Tasting

  • Where: BOTH brewery Taprooms – 313 N 1st St West, and 602 Myrtle.
  • What: Purchase sample tray for $3 (regularly $4) of four different Kettlehouse beers and discuss with the Taproom server.
  • When: Mondays and Tuesdays all day starting on February 20 and ending Tuesday, March 20.
  • How: Show up, purchase a tray, and get your “transcript” initialed.

Credit Four – Independent Study- Photographic Assignment

  • Where: Anywhere Kettlehouse beers are served.
  • What: Take a picture of you enjoying a pint of our beer and identify where you are.
  • When: Anytime between February 20 and March 27.
  • How: We’ll put your mug on our Facebook page with submission of the photo and a signed release form.


  • Where: Union Club
  • What: Party with “Diplomas” handed out and free Kettlehouse Beer Kolledge sweatshirt to first 100 applicants to complete successfully the course.
  • When: March 29 at 7 pm.
  • Who: Kettlehouse Brew Crew You and Bob Wire and the Bob Wire Band featuring Bob Wire

Other details:

All beer consumed during tasting class or after tour counts towards your three pint limit. We will keep your transcript on file at the Northside taproom. A duplicate of your transcript may be kept at the South Taproom to verify that you’ve purchased the sampler tray.

There will be two simultaneous tours and tastings on Monday and Tuesday of each week. Each tour/tasting is capped at 10. This means that the entire class, over the five-week period, is limited to 100 participants. And it’s first-come-first-served.

Anyone feeling like they need a “refresher class” on Kettlehouse beer? Who’s going?


Thirsty for more? Missoula’s beverage expert, Ryan Newhouse, has plenty on tap: The Black Star Beer Barter Returns to WhitefishGet Your (Bar) Game on in Missoula, and The Best Bars for Celebrating a Birthday.

Looking for a local bar or pub? Check out our Missoula Restaurants and Dining and Missoula Nightlife sections.

   Visit the Drink It Missoula archive.


Ryan Newhouse knows good craft beer.

Ryan Newhouse has lived in Missoula since 2002 and has tipped his glass in most of the town’s establishments. He is (in no particular order) a full-time writer, husband, and parent, and a part-time zymurgist. He makes a mean hard cider and pairs his cocktails with dishes from his blog, Cooked Animals: Recipes for Wild Game.