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Whether you’re a craft beer lover with a dream or an industry professional looking to take your career to the next level, there are options to advance your knowledge, no matter where you live.
For budding brewmasters of all experience levels, there’s a wide variety of class formats to choose from, including casual online courses, extended certification programs, continuing education degrees and accreditations, and more. We've chosen the best beer brewing classes for every objective and budget—read on to find out which curriculum calls your name.
UC Davis is ubiquitously known as having one of the top wine programs in the country, so it’s no surprise that its beer brewing courses are of equal prestige. Led by renowned industry pros, the year-round brewing education offerings at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education include a 15-week Master Brewers Certificate Program and a collection of short, comprehensive online courses that can be taken individually or as a complete series. Many essential subjects are covered across the department, from craft beer law to microbiology and everything in between.
The Master Brewers Certificate Program is offered at a flat rate of $16,000, which includes a nonrefundable and nontransferable $1,000 deposit and certificate fee. Room and board are not covered.
This program requires precalculus as a prerequisite and two courses from this list of subjects: biological sciences, chemistry, physics, and engineering. The short-term online courses at UC Davis are much less expensive, generally costing between $75 and $299.
Udemy’s Learn How to Brew Beer At Home In 5 Easy Steps With Adam Ward
If you’ve got $20 to spare and want to learn the basics of brewing online at your own pace, entrepreneur and homebrewing expert Adam Ward’s bestselling Udemy course is your best bet. Made up of 28 information sessions and video lectures, Learn How To Brew Beer At Home In 5 Easy Steps takes its students on a journey from basic theory and yeast’s role in fermentation to hands-on brewing exercises, bottling, and more. Participants in Ward’s Udemy class receive a certificate upon completion, making your home brewer status official.
Note that this program is for true beginners, meaning if you consider yourself to be well-versed in beer and how it’s made, you’ll probably want to select something a bit more advanced.
For the price, this is a great deal for those who want to build a solid foundation of basic concepts, theories, methods, and actual brewing at home, guided by Ward. You can also gift this course to someone who’s passionate about beer and is interested in brewing at home, or you can treat your employees to group access to the entire course catalog by signing up for Udemy for Business (which comes with a free demo so you can check it out before committing).
Master Brewers Association of the Americas Diploma and Certificate Programs
The Master Brewers Higher Education Advisory Committee is a division of the Master Brewers Association (founded in 1887) that exists to support educational institutions offering courses in brewing and fermentation through approved guidelines and learning objectives. You’ll find these curricula in two- and four-year degree programs across the country along with a handful of certificate programs, which generally span a 10- to 18-week period.
Currently, the following schools offer recognized Master Brewers Association programs in various areas of concentration: Appalachian State University, Central New Mexico Community College, Colorado State University, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Oregon State University, Skagit Valley College, Southern Illinois University, UC Davis, and the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg. The cost of each program depends on the schools' tuition rates, but you can read up on and apply for a handful of different scholarships and/or the discounted rate lottery on the MBAA’s Course Scholarships page.
The Art and Science of Brewing at The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park,
New York Campus)
Food is, of course, an essential complement to the beer-drinking experience, so it makes perfect sense that the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) would be home to an award-winning teaching microbrewery located on the Hyde Park, New York, campus. At The Brewery at the CIA, students learn all there is to know about the brewing process as they hone their skills hands-on in the production of the school’s two flagship craft brands, Cleaver IPA and Mise en Place Wit. This program has been around since 2015 (it launched as a collaboration between the CIA and Brooklyn Brewery) and is available as an elective to students in bachelor's degree programs.
One of the school’s objectives is to showcase beer as a drink that’s as food friendly as wine. Tuition for one semester at the Hyde Park campus costs $18,765 plus fees, but the CIA offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid options.
WBA Concise Course in Brewing Technology at Siebel Institute of Technology
Brewing is a scientific process, and the World Brewing Academy’s (WBA) Brewing Technology syllabus takes a deep dive into the nitty-gritty of it all. This program is a collaboration between the Doemens Academy in Munich and Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology and is available in both online and in-person format (or a mix of both). To get started, simply choose entry level, intermediate, or advanced on the WBA website to explore the options.
For beginners, there’s a three-week web-based course (Executive Overview of the Brewing Process for $995). At the intermediate level, you can enroll in the Concise Course in Brewing Technology as a two-week on-campus intensive ($3,875) or a web-based version of the same class, which takes place over three months at the same rate.
Advanced students take Advanced Brewing Theory ($10,700), a 20-week Master Brewer Program ($27,980), or an international diploma program in brewing technology ($18,000). Check the WBA website for the most up-to-date semester availability and information.
What Is a Beer Brewing Class?
A beer brewing class teaches aspiring brewers the ins and outs of making craft beer. These classes come in a variety of formats, from concise self-guided video series to official certification courses and two- or four-year college degrees from reputable universities like UC Davis, a leader in professional wine and beer education. There are options available for beginners, intermediate-, and expert-level students, with online or in-person learning formats.
Can I Take Beer Brewing Classes From Home?
You can absolutely learn the art and science of beer brewing from home as long as you’ve got a computer and a good internet connection. Many courses, like the WBA Concise Course in Brewing Technology at Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, offer online education options, sometimes in tandem with in-person classroom learning. Most online beer brewing courses are either prerecorded or are offered in real time through Zoom.
What Do Beer Brewing Classes Cost?
The cost of brewing classes run the gamut. You'll find the occasional free webinar and sample lesson and a $20 fee for a fully online, self-guided brewing course, which is ideal for beginners looking to pick up a new hobby and further their beer knowledge. If you choose to pursue a college degree in the subject, you will, of course, be looking at a significantly larger investment, with tuition rates as high as $27,900 at schools like Siebel Institute’s World Brewing Academy.
How We Chose the Best Beer Brewing Classes
You’ll find something on this list for every aspiring brewmaster, from a cheap online comprehensive course for beginners to bona fide college degrees and plenty of certificate programs in between. Across the board, general theory and the science behind fermentation play a significant role in the curricula, though each educational path has its own technique, approach, and focus. No two experiences are exactly alike.
Whether you’ve got two hours or 20 weeks to dedicate to your education, you can forge your path to becoming a brewmaster on your terms, either in the comfort of your home or within the four walls of a college classroom. From a self-paced video series like Adam Ward’s bestselling Udemy online course to hands-on brewing with the pros at The Culinary Institute of America (not to mention serious science at every turn), you’ll be on your way to hop heaven in no time.