Brewing education on tap

Rants and Raves Brewery has partnered with Vandal Solutions to host a beer-making class, an event people can enjoy during Dads’ Weekend.

The three-hour event has two class opportunities starting 7 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Participants will use the Rants and Raves small system, a device used to brew beer, giving them the opportunity for a hands-on experience while participating in the class.

Neil Marzolf, general manager and part owner, said each person will participate in the manufacturing of the beer by putting some of the hops and grains in as it’s being mashed.

“Basically, we will have the grain pre-milled and all the ingredients will be set aside, so we will go step-by-step as to why we chose that particular ingredient for that particular style of beer,” Marzolf said.

Terminology will be discussed so participants can learn different lingo used within breweries, such as “hot-liquor tank,” which means hot water.

Clyde McCaw | Argonaut
Rants and Raves will host two brewing classes Thursday and Sunday.

People will learn about temperatures, as well as temperature control and its importance. They get to mash in the grain while simultaneously adding the “hot liquor.”

The liquid then becomes “wort,” which is then boiled and later chilled. The “wort” is transferred to the fermentation vessels.

Attendees will also learn how they can take their new skills home, making beers with common household equipment or a home system similar to the one used during the class.

Participants will learn where they can buy equipment or what how to make use of what they already have, as well.

“Rants and Raves’ very first batch was made in a turkey pot in my backyard under an apple tree on a nice summer day,” Marzolf said. 

Anyone who participates in the class will have the opportunity to buy a 32-ounce bottle of the beer they made. The beer has to properly ferment, so the bottle of beer won’t be ready until roughly two weeks before Christmas.

Vandals Solutions, a non-profit organization run by business students, works with local community businesses on marketing, advertising and social media projects, such as Rants and Raves. Carol Hoffman, a member of the organization, worked specifically with Rants and Raves to put on the weekend event.

“This event is geared toward dads this weekend, but is also a great thing to do with your friends and anyone in the community who is interested in the beer making process,” Hoffman said.

Tickets are $20 and each person who buys a ticket gets two craft beers and an appetizer.

They can be bought online by contacting Vandal Solutions via email at or by messaging the Vandal Solutions Instagram page. Tickets can also be bought at Rants and Raves before or at the door on the day of the event. There are only 70 spots available for each class.

Clyde McCaw can be reached at


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