I recently attended a homebrew seminar event that was held at a commercial brewery, here in San Diego, California. To me, the event had both positive and negative aspects...
On a positive note: the brewery opened its doors to the homebrew community, and the instructor (an employee of the brewery) provided some fantastic knowledge about the homebrewing process, about beer ingredients, and about homebrew in general. In addition, the class featured a discussion that compared brewing on the homebrew-level with brewing on the commercial-level -- this discussion provided a unique and direct comparative look at homebrewing versus commercial brewing, and it was educational for both the beginner and more-seasoned brewers in attendance.
On the negative note: the seminar was focused quite a bit on featuring the commercial brewery's beer, its brand, and its history. There was almost as much of brewery-specific content that was presented as there was material about homebrewing. Also, there was a certain level of disingenuity involved in the presentation -- for example, it was clear that the batch of wort involved in the seminar would be dumped down the drain, and that the beer would never actually be fermented. It seemed odd to not actually finish the batch of beer...
Any way - this leads me to ask: are you interested in seeing more commercial brewery's taking an active role in providing homebrew education or in supporting the homebrew community? What types of actions would you like to see a commercial brewery take, for example, offering classes, offering ingredients (extra hops/barely/etc.), or offering wort to homebrewers?
Any input would be appreciated. Hoping to start a conversation about the topic.