Online beer brewing schools offer courses that range from the basics for home brewers to advanced certification training for bar, restaurant and wholesale beer industry workers and managers. More than 2,500 craft breweries operate in the United States, according to Portland State University, which offers courses that focus on the business of selling craft beer.
For Home Brewers
Home Brew School offers free online brewing courses that focus solely on how to brew beer for personal consumption. The school, founded by an amateur brewer with more than five years of home brewing experience, offers beginner and advanced courses. The “rookie” classes, for example, include step-by-step instructions on how to make and bottle beer, as well as basics on equipment and sanitation.
Udemy, which advertises more than 18,000 online courses on a variety of topics, offers beer-making basics via online courses that range from the ingredients of beer to maintaining a beer cellar. One course includes delivery of a Mr. Beer Kit that provides a keg and beer-making ingredients. The instructor for one basic course offered in 2014 listed himself as a hobbyist, but with a doctoral degree in intercultural studies.
The Business of Beer
Portland State University’s online Business of Craft Brewing certificate program helps students who are considering a career in the industry to create a start-up business plan for a craft beer brewing business. Craft beer is expected to represent nearly 15 percent of the beer industry by 2020, according to the university.
Online classes include six-week business management, marketing, distribution, finance and accounting courses. In addition to its modules on beer making and quizzes about beer, Great Brewers, an online community of amateur beer enthusiasts, includes a free beer profit calculator designed for those who want to pursue profits on draft and packaged beer.
Students at Blue Ridge Community College in North Carolina can enroll for online courses in the semester-long Blue Ridge Online Brew School program on craft brewing. This program includes a mid-semester on-the-ground session at a local brewery.
The Science of Beer
The Siebel Institute of Technology and World Brewing Academy offers more than 20 online brewing courses and programs each year for beginners, and intermediate-level and advanced students. Scholarships are available to enroll in the Associate Brewer program. This program includes Web-based programs on raw materials and wort production, beer production and quality control, and packaging and process technologies.
The Illinois-based Siebel Institute and Germany’s Doemens Academy, which formed the World Brewing Academy partnership, also offer on-ground classes in Chicago, Montreal and Munich.
The American Brewers Guild offers a 22-week online Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering course and a 27-week distance learning Craft Brewer’s Apprenticeship program. The 27-week program includes a five-week apprenticeship at an approved brewery.
Certification Study Courses
Craft Beer University offers online classes on how to prepare for Cicerone’s Beer Judge Certification exam. Classes focus on 20 craft beer styles, as well as 74 sub-styles, home brewing, beer evaluation and judging procedures. Beer Conscious also offers online training for beer judge certification offered by Cicerone. Cicerone has been offering standardized beer judge certification and beer steward exams since 1985.
Beer Conscious offers 12 craft brew webinars, as well as its trademarked Better Beer Scores online training courses. Students can order beer flavor vials for in-home flavor testing. Courses include keeping, serving and properly tasting beer, as well as beer and food pairing. The online school has targeted training for distributors, retail establishment staff and individuals.
The Master Brewers Association of the Americas, formed in 1887, offers its own beer steward certificate. Students study the basics in the association’s Beer Steward Handbook at their own pace with online classes, and then take an online exam based on their studies.
- Home Brew School
- Master Brewers Association of the Americas: Associate Beer Steward Program
- Portland State University: The Business of Craft Brewing
- Craft Beer University: Courses
- Udemy: Beer Brewing at Home
- Master Brewers Association: Beer Steward Certificate program
- American Brewers Guild: Courses
- Beer Conscious: Training
S.R. Haines is a veteran writer whose work has been published by newspapers, magazines, international news wire services and nonprofit publications on topics ranging from breaking news and politics to travel, parenting, education, business and technology. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.