Nachel Beer Education

I've been working in craft beer since before it was called "craft." it’s fair to say I’ve seen a lot, done a lot and learned a lot in that time. In the past thirty years or so I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, associating and collaborating with some of the biggest names in this industry and, of course, tasting plenty of incredible beer as well.  You could say –all kidding aside-- that craft beer is in my blood.


Marty Nachel

When I first started getting into quality beer, I did so mostly because I liked the historical and social aspect of the product - not to mention the enjoyment that came from consuming it! It was only after I began meeting the people associated with the product that I realized what a great bunch of folks make up the craft beer community. It didn’t take me long to feel like a part of the family of beer, and now I love standing at the figurative threshold, welcoming newcomers into the fold.


My Qualifications

Beer Judge

Beer Judge Certification Program, Certified Beer Judge
1986 – Present
I was one of the first 70 people in North America to become a BJCP Certified Beer Judge and the 1st in the state of Illinois.

Beer Evaluator, Beverage Testing Institute (Chicago)
1995 – 1998
As an adjunct beer evaluator at BTI, I participated in beer judging flights alongside company staff. These flights led to rankings for the World Beer Championships.

Sam Adams LongShot Homebrew Competition, Finals Judge (Boston)
2007 + 2011 – 2013
I had the privilege of judging the final nine homebrews with Jim Koch and other beer cognoscenti at the Boston Beer Company brewery; together we determined whose homebrews would be marketed across the nation.

Great American Beer Festival, Panel of Professional Beer Judges (Denver)
1998, 2010 – Present
I’ve now served as a beer judge at the GABF --one of the biggest commercial beer competitions in the world—for an eighth time.  It’s humbling to bestow awards on some of the best beers in the U.S.

Festival of Barrel Aged Beers (FoBAB)
2013 - Present
It's been my extreme privilege to serve as a judge at this FoBAB, as barrel-aged beer was invented in Chicago.  And to participate in a festival dedicated to beers aged on or in wood is one of the pinnacles of my career.

Copa Cervezas de America, Lead Judge (Santiago, Chile)
I was invited to participate as a Lead Judge at one of the largest competitions in South America.  It was interesting and enlightening to confer with fellow judges from many Latin countries.

World Beer Cup, Panel of International Beer Judges (Nashville)
The World Beer Cup is a prestigious competition to judge -not just because of its size, but because it attracts beers, brewers and judges from around the world.  Even though the WBC is held in the United States, American judges are in the minority.

Beer Author

Freelance Writer, topics of beer and brewing
1987 – Present
My articles have appeared in dozens of publications, both in print and online.

Author, “Beer Across America
My first book was based on newsletters that I wrote for the first ever beer-of-the-month club, called Beer Across America.

Author, “Beer for Dummies
1st ed. 1996, 2nd ed. 2011
My second book, now in its 2nd edition, has sold over 100,000 copies

Author, “Homebrewing for Dummies"
1st ed. 1997, 2nd ed. 2008
My third book was an off-shoot of Beer for Dummies.  The three chapters on homebrewing in BFD spurred a great deal of interest -enough to write an entire new book!

Winner of 9 North American Guild of Beer Writers “Excellence in Beer Writing” awards
1996 – 2015
I was fortunate enough to have my work recognized by peers nine times in my writing career.

Beer Writer of the Year, 2nd Runner-up, (N.A.G.B.W.)
This honor came as a result of winning a 1st Place and two 3rd Place awards in the annual writing competition.

Beer Educator

Freelance Beer and Brewing Instructor
1988 – present
I have taught and given presentations to hundreds of people at scores of locations and events over a thirty-year span.  I still love what I do.

College of DuPage, Advisory Board, Business of Craft Beer
2015 – present
When the College of DuPage was putting together their Business of Craft Beer certificate program, I was invited to serve in an advisory position -something I still do with great pride today.

College of DuPage, Adjunct Instructor, Business of Craft Beer
2015 – Present
Since its inception, I have taught the Foundations of Craft Beer and Introduction to Craft Beer prerequisite classes that are an integral part of the Business of Craft Beer certificate program.



"Marty Nachel is a consummate professional and expert on beer and brewing.  He is a wealth of knowledge and is able to translate that knowledge into learning for his students. Students gain valuable information on beer, the brewing process, and beer evaluation in his courses through instruction and supplemental materials."  - Danielle Kuglin Seago, MS Ed. // College of DuPage

“Marty has done several presentations in the past for groups that I am associated with, most recently for one of our customer appreciation nights at my brewery. Always professional, engaging, informative and fun – the way craft beer education should be!” - Ed Malnar // Pollyanna Brewing Co

“After taking Marty’s class, I passed the Cicerone® Certified Beer Server Exam on the first try!” - Steve Kurnik // Retail Beer Sales