I've got and thoroughly read a lot of books on brewing (well, 6 or 7). HTB, DGB, Papazian's stuff, Clones, Styles.
That's a lot different than actually watching/working with/being taught the appropriate techniques and variations where brewing is concerned. I went to gunsmithing school in the 80's on the GI bill. Teachers raise the learning curve significantly - plus, you don't just start working at a brewery when you have another job.
I'm not interested in a commercial situation, just significantly improved HB technique. Are there any extension classes - kind of like Marc Adams and his woodworking school?
This shouldn't be that hard.