Beer is one of the oldest human produced beverages—in fact, many scientists and historians believe that beer production traces back to about 5th Century BCE, if not more than 7000 years ago. The discovery of the fermentation process began a huge shift in the way humans interacted with certain types of crops, lifestyles, as well as public health issues. The Sumerians even believed in Ninkasi, goddess of beer! Beer has been intrinsically linked to our evolution into modernity.
As much as humanity has enjoyed beer in the past (and they have thoroughly loved it), the world is undergoing a renaissance of brewing and beer making that has led to a resurgence of microbreweries and commitment to artisanal brewing. Craft beer has become more pervasive on store shelves and there has been a sort of revolt against the industrialized processes and consumption of mass-produced light lagers. Many people have turned to home brewing as a means to not only save money on beer, but to also craft and shape new ways, styles, and flavors of beer.
It’s hard to believe that even the best and worst beers are comprised of a few simple ingredients: Grain (usually malt barley), Hops, Yeast, and Water. Tweaking the formula a little can produce all sorts of styles of beers, but the process is mostly the same: brewing the ingredients, cooling and fermenting the beer, sanitizing and bottling the beer after fermentation has occurred, and allowing the yeast to ferment additional sugars. Do this right and you’ll have a delicious, refreshing beverage!
If you are interested in learning more about brewing beer or are interested in taking an online course or pursuing a career in beer making, we have much more information about some of the top courses that are currently available online and offline too, in a special edition of all courses review!
If you are simply looking to learn the basic of brewing, there are some amazing courses that will help you go through each step of the brewing process and help you feel confident in attempting to make your own formula and beer! We’ve gathered many of these courses in the Self-Guided section, as most (though not all!) of the university courses are geared toward people seeking out a career in brewing.
If you are serious about looking to advance a career in brewing, be sure to check out our special-edition brick and mortar beer school edition! We have gathered some of the top accredited and certified brewing and zymurgy programs that will set you apart from other people looking to enter the field of beer making. These programs are typically rigorous programs that will cover topics in fermentation, microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, business administration, and other brewing related coursework. These courses will help bolster your understanding the brewing process and help make you stand out when you are applying for jobs.
According to the Brewers Association, brewers make about $25,000-$75,000/year—though some may earn well over $100,000/year—depending on one’s role at a brewery, the size of the brewery, and the distribution and output of the brewery. However, there are many intangible benefits to working at a brewery such as the camaraderie, events, and the beer. Oftentimes, as part of your contract, you’ll get a monthly allotment of beer to take home on top of your salary! Breaking into a career in beer making can be difficult because most everyone working in it loves their jobs so much. However, one way to help get your foot in the door is by gaining a certificate or degree in beer making, brewing, fermentation, or related field, as well as partaking in an apprenticeship.
Accredited Online Craft Brewing Degrees & Certificates
Portland State University: Portland State has recently created the Business of Craft Brewing Certificate that can help you get your foot in the door. Comprised of four courses, Basic Business for Craft Beverages, Craft Beverage Business Management, Strategic Craft Beverage Marketing, and Finance and Accounting for the Craft Brewery, PSU’s program will prepare you to take on the business end of craft brewing. Taught by craft brewing and business professionals, these courses provide rigorous insight and knowledge of industry standards and practices, as well as how to expand your craft beer making into a business. Additionally, PSU offers the optional Immersion Weekend, where you will spend three days in Portland listening to industry experts give lectures, touring local craft breweries, visiting malt and hops processing facilities, local distilleries, and additional craft beverages businesses. If you are interested in making your passion a career, Portland State’s Business of Craft Brewing Certificate may be perfect for you!
|Portland State||The Business of Craft Brewing|
|Portland State||BB401 Basic Business for Craft Beverages|
|Portland State||BB402 Craft Beverage Business Management|
|Portland State||BB403 Strategic Craft Beverage Marketing|
|Portland State||BB404 Finance and Accounting for the Craft Brewery|
|Portland State||BB200 Craft Beverage Immersion Excursion|
Oregon State: Are you looking for online courses that offer additional hands-on experience? Oregon State University offers a combined online/traditional Professional and Continuing Education Northwest Beer and Cider Session that gives you practical and useful information that can help you further your brewing skills, as well as prepare you for a career in the brewing industry. Offering classes for brewing professionals and entrepreneurs, OSU’s continuing education program allows learners to take courses online before they meet for an on-site learning experience.
|Oregon State University||Northwest Beer and Cider Sessions|
|Oregon State University||Brewing Analytics Course Series|
|Oregon State University||Beer Proficiency Testing and Sensory Analysis|
|Oregon State University||Craft Brewery Startup Workshop|
|Oregon State University||Craft Brewery Startup Workshop II|
|Oregon State University||Craft Cidery Startup Workshop|
Self-Guided Online Craft Brewing Courses
CraftBeer.com’s Beer 101 Course: Are you looking to learn the basics of craft homebrewing? This introductory beer making course is an informative and affordable option for those looking to try out brewing for the first time. The course covers a wide range of materials including: the history of beer, brewing ingredients and processes, vital statistics, ABV, SRM, IBU, gravity, beer styles, glassware, and food pairings for different kinds of beers. Additionally, this course includes interviews with some of the leading craft brewers in America. At the end of the course, you will be able to take a test to earn a printable certificate from the Brewers Association.
Siebel Institute of Technology: Siebel Institute of Technology offers some of the most competitive courses on brewing that are available online. Located out of Chicago, Siebel has been a leading brewing preparatory program since 1868. If you have any interest in learning how to brew, these are the definitive courses that will cover everything associated from brewing including the ingredients, processes, quality control, microbiology, practical training, flavors, bottling and sterilization, and much more. Additionally, Siebel offers advanced level coursework for those looking to gain more credentials within the beer making profession. If you want to increase your commitment to brewing, Siebel will provide with an incredible education!
Craft Beer University: Craft Beer University is a phenomenal resource that will help you to become a better homebrewer, as well as equip you with the skills and experience to prepare you to take the Beer Judge Certification Program exam. If you are interested in expanding your homebrewing experience, these courses are an excellent way to think about beer in new, intriguing ways; you’ll be exposed to all sorts of beer styles, flavors, and profiles, as well as informative techniques and trade secrets to better homebrewing. If you want to impress or gain serious credentials, this is a great program!
Cicerone: Cicerone is the leading beer sommelier certification program. If you are interested in becoming better at profiling beer, knowing what a beer is supposed to taste, look, and smell like, or want to become a better homebrewer, this certification process will help you become an expert. Offering three levels of certification, Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone, and Master Cicerone, this certification is a rigorous program that will equip you with expert knowledge in what beers are supposed to be like. If you are looking to become a head brewmaster, beer judge, beer sommelier, or simply want to become a better brewer, these courses and certifications will be proof that you know your beer!
Udemy: Are you looking for a short introduction to the basics of homebrewing? Do you want to brew your own beer but have never tried it before? Udemy offers three excellent courses that will teach you basics of what you need, how to brew your beer, how to effectively sanitize your equipment (it’s important!), and the different steps you’ll need to do in order to make a crisp, refreshing beer on your very own! Udemy offers these courses through instructive video tutorials that will take you step-by-step through each process to make sure you know what you are doing! It’s easy to make a silly mistake when you are first learning, check out these courses to make sure you don’t spoil your first batch of beer!
Udemy Brewing Courses
|Udemy||How to Brew Your Own Beer with the Mr. Beer Kit|
|Udemy||How to Brew Beer at Home: Learn to Brew Real Beer|
|Udemy||How to Brew Beer at Home: Beer Making 101|
|Udemy||Brew Real Beer|
Craft Brewing MOOCs (Open Courses)
University of Oklahoma: Do you want to learn the biochemical processes that lead to the refreshing, effervescent flavor profile of beer? Do you have prior experience in General and Organic chemistry and want to learn how to use that experience to utilize analytical techniques in brewing, chemistry of the compounds within beer, and the processes of the biochemical reaction process of making beer? Oklahoma University offers an incredible MOOC that will allow you to learn brewing techniques, commercial brewing processes, and different analytical techniques. If you are prepared to use your chemistry and biochemistry knowledge to help improve your brewing processes, skills, and knowledge, this free MOOC will provide an incredible experience in applying your knowledge!
University of Reddit: Are you interested in learning step-by-step brewing techniques from one of the internet’s most active communities? The University of Reddit, offers great instructions to begin your own home brewery, as well as advanced level techniques to take your beer making to the next level! If you have your own homebrewing equipment and access to a stovetop, you have the prerequisites to this course! Lessons are taught through online video tutorials, as well as information PDFs to help you on your way to making your own beer. This course does need to be updated, though the Reddit community seems to be on top of most of the material. Join hundreds of people who have started taking this course and learn how to make your own beer in no time!
BeerU: Brought to you by World Class Beer, BeerU offers a series of excellent tutorials that cover everything you might need to know about beer. Topics include: Beer History, Ingredients, Brewing, Beer Styles, Beer and Food, and many other interesting and informative topics. Lectures will go over a wide range of detailed information about brewing and provide tests at the end of each lecture to assess your learning. A great, free option for those who want to learn an incredible amount about beer and be able to learn how to brew new types of beer!
Traditional Craft Brewing Brick and Mortar Programs
UC Davis (Professional Brewers Certificate): UC Davis is the leading Master Brewers Program in America and boasts many awards, prestigious faculty, successful alumni, and recognition by top breweries. Taught in an intensive 10-week, five days a week schedule, this program will be sure to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to take on any brewing science and engineering problem. If you are you looking to get professional, large scale brewing experience, this program will be perfect for you! Qualified candidates will have backgrounds in Chemistry, Microbiology, Physics, and Engineering. In addition to being an excellent program, UC Davis offers its students incredible opportunities to network and offers outstanding career services.
Oregon State University (Bachelor’s of Science in Food Science and Technology): If you are looking for an academically rigorous program to prepare you for the challenges of fermentation sciences, Oregon State offers an incredible program that will prepare you for a career in winemaking, brewing, cheesemaking, distilled spirits, baking, and other fermentation products. This unique four year degree program covers the biological, chemical, and physical principles of fermentation as well as engineering, processing, preservation, quality evaluation, public health aspects, and use of beer, wine, and fermented food products. This is an incredible and fascinating course of study that doesn’t have many equals and boasts impressive careers for alumni! If you are prepared to move to Corvallis, OR, this program may be perfect for you!
UC San Diego (Brewing Certificate): For a city that has over 80 craft breweries, San Diego is an excellent place to learn about beer. This makes UC San Diego a prime learning opportunity where you can take what you learn in class and test it out all over San Diego. You will learn the Science and Technology of Brewing, The Business of Brewing, gain practical working knowledge through a hands-on internship, and learn about the diverse and rich history of beer. A certificate from UC San Diego will prepare you with the knowledge and craft you’ll need to successfully brew beer. You’ll take in-depth courses that will give you hands-on experience with the minutiae of brewing—from learning about Yeast & Fermentation Processes to understanding the Operations Management and Financial Management for Breweries, these courses will prepare you to do just about anything within the beer making world!
Auburn: Auburn’s new graduate certificate in Brewing Science and Operations is a promising programming with a lot of great things going for it. Founded in a partnership with the Oskar Blues Brewing company and the Alabama Brewing Industry, Auburn’s certificate program is designed to give students first-hand experience in brewing delicious craft beer. Coursework for this program centers around the science of brewing and fermentation, as well as the business end of brewery operations, which culminates in a weekend required residency at one of the Oskar Blues Breweries, which will students additional insight as to how the day to day operations of a successful brewery function. This year and a half program is excellent preparation for those looking to enter the world of brewing with a competitive certificate!
Colorado State: Home to many major craft breweries, Fort Collins is the ideal location to see how beer is produced from the field to the fermentation tank. Colorado State offers an incredible Bachelor’s of Science in Fermentation Studies that will be sure to equip you with the critical scientific and hands-on experience needed to be a fantastic brewer. The curriculum and requirements for this program include rigorous studies in the hard sciences, as well important classes in food sciences, quality control, wine sciences, and business leadership. Additionally, all seniors are allowed to use credit from hands-on internships with local fermentation experts. If you are looking to jump start your career, look no further than this excellent program!
Craft Brewing Resources
Luckily, the craft brewing community is widely supportive and many brewers love to participate in sharing ideas, strategies, and even sometimes recipes and experiments. Here is a list of amazing resources that every brewer should be reading!
Beer Judge Certification Program: Do you want to learn how a beer ought to smell, taste, and look? The Beer Judge Certification Program will equip you with the skills and prowess to judge beer in competitions. Certification consists of an online test followed by an on-site tasting exam that will test how well you know your beer and different styles of beer. If you are serious about learning more about beer, what better way than to put yourself in the middle of a tasting competition where you must be able to distinguish one great beer from another!