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

Me CBES 3I’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.

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.

Writing & Events


David is a professional writer, and while much of his writing is about books and film (he is a National Book Critics Circle member), he writes a lot about beer too! He is a regular contributor to, PorchDrinking, Indiana on Tap, and Dayton City Paper’s beer section. Looking for a beer writer for your publication, or to provide beer descriptions for you beer menu, event, or website? Get in touch!


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

We have had David lead several of our food and beer pairings, helping us elevate the guest experience to a whole new level. His knowledge and ability to keep our participants engaged have really pushed our pairings over the top. David has been a perfect pour every time!

Chris Campbell Co-Owner & Culinary Director, The Merchant House