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, Certified 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 more than a decade, and while I am now a Certified Cicerone and 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 and national publications. Looking for a beer writer for your publication, or to provide beer descriptions for you beer menu, event, or website? Get in touch!

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 event services. Browse these possible offerings below, and click “More” in each category to see these options in greater detail.


• Guided tastings

• Beer education classes

• Service staff education

• Copywriting & storytelling

More for Breweries

Bars & Restaurants

• Beer dinners & pairings

• Service staff education

• Menu copy & pairing suggestions

• Beer list curation

More for Bars & Restaurants 

Private Events

• In-home or establishment tastings

• Beer appreciation & history talks

• Beer judging

• Beer education classes

More For Private Events



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


North Coast Scrimshaw 20180208


David was wonderful! Our group was mostly beer novices, and it has been so exciting to see them empowered with the language and background to enjoy new beers and be able to articulate what they like and why.

Raiye Rosado Co-founder, Rabid Brewing

If you are looking for an event that is interesting, unique, and educational, David is your guy!  We’ve held three classes at our library so far, and I have been so impressed each time at the level of knowledge he is able to share with our patrons.  From serious home brewers to casual beer drinkers, his programs appeal to everyone!

Katie Bensman Adult Programming Director, Worch Memorial Public Library