Expert beer knowledge,
minus the snobbery.

If you’re interested in hosting a fun, informative beer tasting or class, whether by itself or as part of your next event or festival, Advanced Cicerone® David Nilsen can design a program to fit exactly what you and your guests are looking for.

About David

I’ve been enjoying craft beer for close to two decades, and while I am now an Advanced Cicerone and award-winning professional beer writer and educator, I remember how overwhelming the beer world seemed when I was just discovering this wonderful drink. There are so many styles, so many unknown terms, and so much risk of feeling silly if you say the “wrong” thing in front of the wrong beer geek.

Beer is supposed to be fun, whether you’re an expert who likes to talk about rare hop varietals and obscure yeast strains or a newbie who doesn’t know your pilsner from your pale ale. When I lead tastings and classes, I make sure no one feels intimidated or embarrassed because of their level of familiarity with beer, while making sure everyone leaves knowing more about beer than when they started.

My wife and I have traveled all over the place for great beer (including a couple of wonderful trips to Belgium), and I want you to love it as much as we do. Check out the services I offer, and consider incorporating a beer tasting into your next event.

Writing & Events


David is a professional writer who does some literary criticism (he is a National Book Critics Circle member), but primarily writes about beer and food. He is an award-winning member of the North American Guild of Beer Writers, and his beer writing appears in numerous regional, national, and international publications. Looking for a beer writer for your publication, or to copywriting for your brewery or other establishment? Get in touch!

Main page writing & events

David on Beer

Beer is the most complex, varied adult beverage in the world. There are hundreds of hop varieties and types of malt and numerous yeast strains, and countless adjustments brewers can make during the brewing process. These influences come together to create a drink that is as diverse and layered as the cultural and national traditions from which our beer styles originated. Sip a sour, funky Oude Kriek and you’re in a centuries-old stone cellar in Belgium. Taste a crisp and toasty Märzen and you’re in a sun-dappled beer garden in Germany. Beer has endless possibilities.

Services Offered

David offers writing services and both plug-and-play and customizable in-person and virtual event services. Browse these possible offerings below, and click “More” in each category to see these options in greater detail.

Breweries, Bars, & Restaurants

• Guided tastings

• Beer education classes

• Service staff education

• Beer Dinners & Pairings

• Virtual Events

More for Breweries

Private Events

• In-home or establishment tastings

• Beer appreciation & history talks

• Beer judging

• Beer education classes

• Virtual Events

More info on Private Events



Looking for something else?  Contact David to inquire about other possibilities


Bean to Barstool

In addition to his role as a beer writer & educator, David is passionate about bean to bar chocolate. The Bean to Barstool podcast uses craft beer & bean to bar chocolate as lenses for exploring the world of flavor. You can listen on all major podcast platforms, or on the Bean to Barstool website, where you can also learn about David’s writing & event services around beer & chocolate.

You can also check out the Bean to Barstool blog for interviews with brewers and chocolate makers, pairing tips, and more!

David has written a couple self-published zines—Pairing Beer & Chocolate and The Bean to Barstool Guide to Bocks. This full-color, 70-page zine provides everything you need to create amazing beer and chocolate pairings, including style-by-style pairing recommendations and guidance on hosting a pairing of your own. You can order it on the Bean to Barstool shop!

Alongside Melinda Guerra, David has founded and edits the quarterly Final Gravity beer zine. Learn more here.


David Nilsen creates an inviting atmosphere for everyone, from the novice beer drinker to the experienced home brewer. With each class focused on a specific theme, David takes our patrons through the history and science of each beer with an ease that engages everyone and provides them with a desire to learn more.

Drew Wichterman Adult Programming Director, Tipp City Public Library

Having David lead a beer tasting is a great addition to any event! The interest of the public in craft beer has increased significantly in recent years and David can engage everyone from those with a long term paramour with artisan brews to beer novices looking to find a new favorite. He helps make the vast world of beer accessible and will tailor his services to be a perfect fit for your function!

Crysta Hutchinson Executive Director, Main Street Greenville