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Beer Brewer Professional

The University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies, in collaboration with community partners around the metro-Richmond area, offers a beer brewer professional certificate for those interested in entering or advancing in the growing craft beer industry.

The certificate program guides students through the entire craft brewing business, from procuring high quality ingredients and raw materials through the proper handling, processing, packaging and distribution of the final product. The program highlights local, sustainable practices by partnering with Central Virginia suppliers, breweries and distributors.

Students who complete the certificate program will be well prepared to enter the craft brewing industry in a variety of roles, from procurement and supply chain management to beer server and beer sommelier to brewmaster. By collaborating with local partners, earning the certificate positions graduates well to start or advance their career in the beer brewing industry.

The program requires 11 modules, two field trips, and a one-month, 20-hour internship. Earning the Beer Brewer Professional Certificate also earns 10 CEUs than can be applied toward professional development goals or requirements. The program takes one year to complete and requires completing all modules plus the internship to be eligible for the certificate.

Additional details and application

Introduction to Brewing (3 modules)
Module 1: History of Craft Brewing

This module will serve as an introduction to the program in general and lay a foundation for the program. Students will gain an understanding of the history of beer brewing and the relatively recent expansion of craft brewing in the United States. The historical timeline will begin just after prohibition, continue through post-war global consolidation, and continue up through the craft-brewing boom of the late 1990’s through the early 2000’s.

Module 2: Introduction to Brewing Terminology

This module will cover the vocabulary and technical terms used in the brewing industry, from the equipment to the brewing processes.

Module 3: Introduction to Essential Ingredients

This module will introduce and examine all of the essential ingredients involved in the brewing process, from sourcing and selection to the effects of specific ingredients on the final product. 

Brew Science and Brewery Processes (6 modules)
Module 4: Introduction to Brewing Technology and the Craft Brewing Process

This module will provide a general understanding of brewery operations, including the steps in the operations, from raw material, to wort, to final product. Students will learn how to make the most popular styles of beer and learn the difference in how they are produced, as well as a variety of techniques to adjust their flavor profiles. Students will understand basic formulas for several popular styles of beer.

Module 5: Introduction to Safety and Sanitation

This module will cover one of the most important aspects of making great beer — sanitation. Topics will include overall sanitation, grain dust safety, proper chemical storage and procedures, CO2, personal protective equipment, working in confined spaces, lock out tag systems, and more.

Module 6: Equipment, Maintenance, Packaging and Distribution

This module will introduce the equipment used in a professional brewery as well as its proper calibration and maintenance. Additionally, students will learn different packaging options and methods and how to set up a distribution system. Students will also learn compliance and legal aspects to packaging beer for sale. 

Module 7: Quality Assurance for Brewers

This module will cover microbiology for the brewer and introduce beneficial microbial actions as well as how to control the microbiological threats. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of, as well as some methods for, manipulating beer statistics including the Standard Reference Method and how it relates to the color of the brew, the Specific Gravity and its relation to the alcohol content, and the International Bitterness Units.

Module 8: The Biology of Yeast and the Fermentation Process

This module will provide an in-depth understanding of the different yeast strains, the fermentation processes and how to affect beer styles. Students will review various methods of yeast propagation. 

Module 9: Introduction to Beer Styles

This module will address and review different popular beer styles. Using the knowledge gained throughout the program, students will focus on the processes for creating the differing styles. 

Brewing as a Business (2 modules)
Module 10: Creating a Business and Marketing Plan

This module will provide strategies to turn a passion for brewing into a viable business plan. The market, different types of business models, branding and positioning will be discussed.

Module 11: Licensing and Regulation

This module covers licensing and regulations governing breweries and selling alcoholic beverages in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Students will have an understanding of which regulatory bodies have jurisdiction under specific circumstances as well as how to operate in compliance with the federal, state and local governments.

Practical Experience
Internship

In the internship, students will gain a hands-on understanding of working in a brewery, as well as begin to make contacts in the industry. The internship experience requires 20 hours of work in a relevant organization (selected in consultation with a program supervisor) within a 30-day period. The student’s internship supervisor will complete an evaluation on the student’s work experience. 

Fall 2016 Cohort Schedule

Dates and times are tentative and subject to change. Any changes will be posted here and communicated by the instructor. Locations will be posted as confirmed and communicated to students via email.

Module/Activity Day Date Time
1: History of Craft Brewing Monday October 17, 2016 6-9 p.m.
2: Intro to Brewing Terminology Monday October 24, 2016 6-9 p.m.
2: Intro to Brewing Terminology Monday November 7, 2016 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday November 14, 2016 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday November 28, 2016 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday December 5, 2016 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday December 12, 2016 6-9 p.m.
4: Old Bust Head Tour (part of Intro to Brewing Tech & Process) Saturday January 14, 2017 3 p.m. until
Field Trip: Original Gravity Brew Process Lecture/Observation  Monday January 16, 2017 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday January 23, 2017 6-9 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday January 30, 2017 6-9 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday February 6, 2017 6-9 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday February 13, 2017 6-9 p.m.
5: Intro to Safety & Sanitation Monday February 20, 2017 6-9 p.m.
5: Intro to Safety & Sanitation Monday February 27, 2017 6-9 p.m.
6: Equipment, Maint, Packaging & Distrib Monday March 6, 2017 6-9 p.m.
6: Equipment, Maint, Packaging & Distrib Monday March 13, 2017 6-9 p.m.
Field Trip: Copper Fox Tour Sunday March 19, 2017 12-3 p.m.
6: Equipment, Maint, Packaging & Distrib Monday March 20, 2017 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday March 27, 2017 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday April 3, 2017 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday April 17, 2017 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday April 24, 2017 6-8 p.m.
8: Biology of Yeast & Fermentation Monday May 8, 2017 6-8 p.m.
8: Biology of Yeast & Fermentation Tuesday May 9, 2017 6-8 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday May 15, 2017 6-9 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday May 22, 2017 6-9 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday June 5, 2017 6-9 p.m.
Field Trip: Steam Bell Brew Works Brew Process Lecture/Observation Sunday June 11, 2017 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday June 12, 2017 6-9 p.m.
10: Business & Marketing Plan Monday June 19, 2017 6-9 p.m.
10: Business & Marketing Plan Monday June 26, 2017 6-9 p.m.
10: Business & Marketing Plan Monday July 10, 2017 6-9 p.m.
11: Licensing & Regulation Monday July 17, 2017 6-9 p.m.
11: Licensing & Regulation Monday July 24, 2017 6-9 p.m.
Spring 2017 Cohort Schedule

Dates and times are tentative and subject to change. Any changes will be posted here and communicated by the instructor. Locations will be posted as confirmed and communicated to students via email.

Module/Activity Day Date Time
1: History of Craft Brewing Monday April 10, 2017 6-9 p.m.
2: Intro to Brewing Terminology Monday April 24, 2017 6-9 p.m.
2: Intro to Brewing Terminology Monday May 1, 2017 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday May 8, 2017 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday May 15, 2017 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday May 22, 2017 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday June 5, 2017 6-9 p.m.
4: Old Bust Head Tour (part of Intro to Brewing Tech & Process) Saturday June 10, 2017 3 p.m. until
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday June 12, 2017 6-9 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process & Field Trip: Original/Final Gravity Monday June 26, 2017 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday July 10, 2017 6-9 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday July 17, 2017 6-9 p.m.
5: Intro to Safety & Sanitation Monday July 24, 2017 6-9 p.m.
5: Intro to Safety & Sanitation Monday July 31, 2017 6-9 p.m.
6: Equipment, Maint, Packaging & Distrib Monday August 14, 2017 6-9 p.m.
6: Equipment, Maint, Packaging & Distrib Monday August 21, 2017 6-9 p.m.
Field Trip: Copper Fox Tour Sunday August 27, 2017 12-3 p.m.
6: Equipment, Maint, Packaging & Distrib Monday August 28, 2017 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday September 11, 2017 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday September 18, 2017 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday September 25, 2017 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday October 2, 2017 6-8 p.m.
8: Biology of Yeast & Fermentation Monday October 16, 2017 6-8 p.m.
8: Biology of Yeast & Fermentation Monday October 23, 2017 6-8 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday October 30, 2017 6-9 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday November 6, 2017 6-9 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday November 13, 2017 6-9 p.m.
Field Trip: Steam Bell Brew Works Brew Process Lecture/Observation Sunday November 19, 2017 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday November 20, 2017 6-9 p.m.
10: Business & Marketing Plan Monday December 4, 2017 6-9 p.m.
10: Business & Marketing Plan Monday December 11, 2017 6-9 p.m.
10: Business & Marketing Plan Monday December 18, 2017 6-9 p.m.
11: Licensing & Regulation Monday January 8, 2018 6-9 p.m.
11: Licensing & Regulation Monday January 22, 2018 6-9 p.m.

Additional Dates

  • Celebration Dinner and Beer and Food Tasting Demo: Week of February 4, 2018
  • Certificate Ceremony: Early March, 2018

Contact Us

Dr. David Kitchen
Professional & Continuing Studies
Special Programs Building
28 Westhampton Way
Univ. of Richmond, VA 23173

Phone: (804) 289-8133
Fax: (804) 289-8138
dkitchen@richmond.edu