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Spotlight Newsletter Articles

May Articles

Instructor Highlight: Paul Barile

Paul Barile has been teaching Creative Writing, Memoir Writing, Poetry and Songwriting classes at College of DuPage for the past five years. The published author and storyteller has made a notable impact on writing hobbyists and published writers alike. So much so “The Pens of Paul” writing group was formed in Paul’s honor by past and current students outside of normal class time. "They meet once a month and encourage each other and motivate each other. I asked the name of the group and was surprised and delighted they called the group “The Pens of Paul.” That is beyond flattering" Barile shares.

In his teaching career Paul has found joy in helping his writing students awaken their inner storyteller. "We are all storytellers - we all have stories bubbling up inside of us trying to get out. If I can facilitate the process for the students - then that is my success" says Barile. While Paul teaches several different genres of writing courses at College of DuPage, his main focus has been on memoir writing. Paul believes in demystifying the idea that memoirs are only for famous people. "We have all had lives and we all have experiences that are compelling. When you get down to it – and surrender to it – you’ll find people who were just waiting for you to tell your story" Barile stated.

A highlight of Paul's teaching career has been having one of his students published. "One of the best things that has ever happened to me – as a COD teacher - was the day I walked to the mailbox and pulled out a package from Amazon. In that package was a book written by a recent/former student who had never written before in his life. He took the time and the initiative to write his story – a novella – and he published" Barile shared.

The passion Paul has for writing has very clearly impacted several of his writing students over the years and we are thrilled to have him join us once again this Summer for Memoir Writing, Writing for Children and Writing Pulp-Fiction.

Paul Barile Biography

Paul Barile is a writer who happens to do other creative things. His novel “My Brother’s Hands” (2015 Lexographic Press) is available on Amazon.com and where fine books are sold. His first collection of poetry “Come to Chicago: Iraq is Burning” is available on Amazon.com. His novelette “Chasing Happy” is also available on Amazon.com. The audiobook “Chasing Happy” is available on Apple Music. His novella “Ten Pounds of Gold” is also available at – say it with me now – Amazon.com

Paul is deeply rooted in the Lucha Libre community in and around the Chicagoland area. His dual language YA book “The Legend of Aguila Azul” (2021 Lexographic Press) is getting a major international re-release this spring along with “Kid Chaos Versus the Sandman '' which is a Lucha Libre dual-language coloring book.

“The Legend of Aguila Azul” is the first book in the Legends of the Lucha series of dual language YA books which will be released periodically. Each book features a different protagonist from a different neighborhood in Chicago.

“Love. Money. Pride” and “Down for the Count” – two short films written by Paul are in post-production with a spring 2022 release planned. “Quiet Girls Don’t Make History” a short documentary about teen-age girls working as professional luchadoras is in post-production. This film was co-written and co-directed by Paul. 

“Ghosts of Home” a new collection of poetry will be released this spring and available at (one more time) Amazon.com.

“Grace of My Father: Confessions of a Deliberate Outcast” is a growing collection of memoirs that is available at you-know-who.

In his spare time, Paul writes.

Business of Craft Beer Announces New Beer Evaluation Program this Summer
In an interview with instructor Marty Nachel, we learn about the latest program he has developed to improve the beer evaluation skills of those working in the craft beer industry and professional home brewers. The program consists of three courses – an introductory beer judging course, an off-flavors beer course, and a beer evaluation exam. Register for all three courses this summer and receive a bundled discount!

Here is the interview between, Jenifer Walsh, Program Manager for the Business of Craft Beer program and Marty Nachel, author, instructor and Business of Craft Beer advisory board member. 

JW: Tell me about these new summer Craft Beer courses.

MN: There are three classes,The first class in May, titled “So You Want to Become a Beer Judge…”, is designed to show and explain the recommended steps towards becoming a certified and/or professional beer judge. This class will share helpful methods for improving beer judging practices and will also provide valuable information that will help prospective judges move up the experience ladder.

The second course in June is titled “Off Flavors in Beer” We will be taking a close look at (by smell and taste) the various off flavors that may be encountered in beer, from those that occur during the brewing of the beer, to those that occur as a result of poor storage and handling after the beer has been packaged and shipped to market.

The last class in July is a comprehensive beer judge exam. Exam takers will be expected to exhibit their knowledge of beer as well as demonstrate their sensory ability in beer evaluation. There will be a written portion of the test and multiple tasting portions. Knowledge and skills tested will be equivalent to the Cicerone™ program and the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). Participants who score higher than 75% will receive a certified credential in recognition of their ability and accomplishment.

While these courses can be taken separately, they are designed to complement one another -especially for those looking to become a certified or professional beer judge.

JW: How did you get into judging beer?

MN: When I started submitting my homebrewed beer into competitions back in the 1980’s, I realized there were not enough qualified beer judges equal to the need for them, so I decided to become one. It was a long and laborious process, but ultimately, a rewarding one. It all starts with learning about beer styles and by “learning” I mean tasting…

JW: Is there a need for this type of training and credentialing in the craft beer industry?

MN: There has always been a need for people qualified to evaluate beer, not just for competition purposes, but also for quality control at breweries. With the growing number of new breweries and beer competitions, the need for experts to evaluate beer flavors has never been greater.

JW: Who are the courses geared for?

MN: There are three groups of people who would gain from taking these courses. The first group are those working in the beer and brewing industry or actively seeking employment in the industry and want to improve their skillset. The second group are those who brew beer at home and want to improve their craft by developing and expanding their sensory abilities. The third group are the just-for-fun “beer geeks” who are just looking to take a deeper dive into beer knowledge and experience. And with enough drive and perseverance, anyone from any of these groups could ostensibly become a professional beer judge.

JW: What would one expect to learn from taking the Off Flavors beer course?

MN: It’s one thing to smell or taste a beer and say “This beer is off”; it’s another to be able to say “This beer is oxidized and it reeks of diacetyl!”  Determining that a beer has a problem is only half the job – you need to be able to identify the specific problem using the appropriate descriptors.

As mentioned earlier, there are many off flavors that can affect a beer’s quality and enjoyment.  Across the four nights in this course, we will explore 25 different off flavors that are commonly found in beer, most of them unknown to the average beer consumer.

JW: These classes are new to the Business of Craft Beer (BCB) program. What other courses are in the BCB program? What types of people take courses in the program?

MN: The courses that are offered in the BCB program were developed to address the needs of those wishing to find employment in the craft beer industry. Whether one intends to start a business such as a brewery or a retail bottle shop, or wants to work in beer production at a brewery or in sales for a beer distributorship, the BCB program offers a full program of courses designed to help students gain the knowledge taught by industry experts. 

We’ve had students ranging from 21 to over 70 years old; those looking to begin a career, launch second careers or just looking for their side-hustle in retirement. 

JW: How has the craft beer industry evolved over the last 10 years?

MN: In a word, growth. The craft beer industry in the United States now claims over 9,000 breweries. This is the most breweries this country has ever had. Over half of today’s breweries opened within the past decade. In a second word, innovation.  The American craft beer industry was founded on innovation and that foundation remains strong and dynamic; there are more beer styles brewed in the U.S. than any other country in the world.

JW: How has the pandemic affected the industry? And what do you see for the future of this industry?

MN: If the pandemic taught American craft breweries anything, it was how to be flexible and be able to turn on a dime. When social gathering wasn’t allowed, taprooms and bars closed down.  This meant that breweries had to look for alternative ways of selling their beer, namely, packaging and distribution. Competition for retail shelf space ratcheted up. It’s amazing that not more small brewers went out of business in the past two years.

Recent growth in this industry cannot be sustained forever; only those breweries that are able to make consistently good beer at a competitive price point, along with offering a top-notch customer experience, will be able to keep their doors open. Consumers will determine who stays and who goes.

Join Marty this summer for one or all three of these dynamic beer judging courses!

Marty Nachel Biography

Marty Nachel is the author of several books on beer and brewing, including “Beer for Dummies” and “Homebrewing for Dummies”.  He has been involved in the craft beer industry for over three decades.

Marty became a Certified beer judge in 1986 in the Beer Judge Certification Program and has been active in the BJCP ever since.  He has judged beer at some of the largest and most prestigious commercial beer competitions on three continents, including Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup, Copa Cervezas de America and African Beer Cup.

Marty teaches Foundations of Beer and Introduction to the Craft Beer Industry in the Business of Craft Beer certificate program at College of DuPage since 2015. Marty is also a member of the Business of Craft Beer Advisory Board.

Contact Information

Continuing Education
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1110
(630) 942-2208
Fax: (630) 942-3785
Email: CE@cod.edu