Praying Monk Starts "Summer School" for Beer, Offering Four Classes Taught by Beverage Expert and New GM Dave Johnson

Courtesy of King Lawrence
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When Davanti Enoteca closed its doors a few weeks ago, long-time wine sommelier and beverage guru Dave Johnson was put out of work -- but he's found a soft place to land. And he's not wasting any time at his new gig as GM and Director of All Things Beverage at Aaron May's Praying Monk.

See also:
-- With Praying Monk, Aaron May Continues to Go His Own Way
-- Tastemaker #12: Dave Johnson

Johnson -- whose multiple personalities include academician and raconteur -- has instituted a "summer school" program on beer to get us through life in hell summer. Here's what beer lovers and those who aspire to be educated beer drinkers need to know:

The summertime Tuesday series Summer School at the Monk begins the last week of June and runs until mid-August, offering up beer lore (and possibly tall tales) from Johnson, who will also discuss beer and food pairings. To illustrate his point, beer-matched tapas will be served. Here's the schedule and other important details:

June 25--Ales and lagers
July 16--Geographic styles
July 30--Microproducers of the world
August 13--Unique and specialties

Tickets are $30 per person per class or $100 per person for all four classes. Tickets include beer samples and food tapas. Classes begin at 6:30 p.m.

Reservations, which are required, may be made by calling 480-398-3020 or emailing to

By the way, Johnson and May have a long history, given that the two worked together at May's critically acclaimed Sol y Sombra, where Johnson curated an impressive list of Spanish wines.

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Location Info

Praying Monk - CLOSED

7217 E. 1st St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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Can't wait! My friend and I are signing up first thing tomorrow!


While it is nice to see a beer education class being done I have met this guy and he is certainly no beer expert. He might know what sells and about wine but he is far from being a cicerone expert about beer. 

RossDrinksandEats 1 Like


Really James? Dave Johnson is not a beer expect? Thanks for the useless incite on man you obviously know nothing about. 

Go Dave! It's people like you that try and put this city on the map and have been working hard to create a "food and drink" culture in this great state for over the last 10 years. 

It's people like your anonymous friend James here that want to keep it in the dirt. 

Margi Phalon Wolfe
Margi Phalon Wolfe 2 Like

I don't even like beer, but this class would be fascinating; Dave Johnson has more stories that Scheherazade.

AZnikkib 1 Like

@Margi Phalon Wolfe That he does!

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