I certainly don't want to say anything that contradicts the instructor as he's the one structuring the course but brewing is about biochemistry which builds, of course, on organic chemistry but only a small part of it. I think that if one understands the relationships between acids, aldehydes, ketones and alcohols and a few other bits at that level i.e. the beginning stuff he can probably handle or at least appreciate much of the biochemistry of brewing.
I'm speaking from my own experience. I wanted very much to understand some of the biochem of brewing and, in discussing this with a colleauge who had studied biochem, expressed the fear that I would never be able to understand any of it because all my chemistry had been a freshman level (inorganic) course in engine school. He said not to worry, I wouldn't need to know that much organic and gave me a biochem book (Lennigner) with a bookmark at the pages where fermentation was discussed. He was right.
Thus to those who are wondering how to prep, my suggestion would be to pick up a biochem book, look up EMP (Embden, Meyerhoff, Parnass) or glycolysis in the index or, easier still, look at the Wikipedia article at
Don't expect to understand everything there after one, or even multiple, reading(s) but if you can get to the point where you can follow the argument you will probably be OK.