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UR's Beer Brewer Professional Certificate

Beer Brewer Professional Certificate Program

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 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.

Ready to apply for fall 2018? Scroll to the bottom of the page!

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. 

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.
Field Trip: Original/Final Gravity Tour Monday June 26, 2017 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday June 26, 2017 6-9 p.m.
4: 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
Fall 2017 Cohort Schedule

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

Module/Activity Day Date Time
1: History of Craft Brewing Monday October 9, 2017 6-8 p.m.
1: History of Craft Brewing Monday October 16, 2017 6-8 p.m.
2: Intro to Brewing Terminology Monday October 23, 2017 6-9 p.m.
2: Intro to Brewing Terminology Monday November 6, 2017 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday November 13, 2017 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday November 27, 2017 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday December 4, 2017 6-9 p.m.
3: Intro to Essential Ingredients Monday December 11, 2017 6-9 p.m.
4: Old Bust Head Tour (part of Intro to Brewing Tech & Process) Saturday January 13, 2018 3 p.m. until
Field Trip: Original Gravity Brew Process Lecture/Observation  Monday January 15, 2018 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday January 22, 2018 6-9 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday January 29, 2018 6-9 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday February 5, 2018 6-9 p.m.
4: Intro to Brewing Tech & Process Monday February 12, 2018 6-9 p.m.
5: Intro to Safety & Sanitation Monday February 19, 2018 6-9 p.m.
5: Intro to Safety & Sanitation Monday February 26, 2018 6-9 p.m.
6: Equipment, Maint, Packaging & Distrib Monday March 5, 2018 6-9 p.m.
6: Equipment, Maint, Packaging & Distrib Monday March 12, 2018 6-9 p.m.
Field Trip: Copper Fox Tour Sunday March 18, 2018 12-3 p.m.
6: Equipment, Maint, Packaging & Distrib Monday March 19, 2018 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday March 26, 2018 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday April 2, 2018 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday April 9, 2018 6-8 p.m.
7: Quality Assurance Monday April 23, 2017 6-8 p.m.
8: Biology of Yeast & Fermentation Monday May 7, 2018 6-9 p.m.
8: Biology of Yeast & Fermentation Monday May 14, 2018 6-9 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday May 21, 2018 6-9 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday June 4, 2018 6-9 p.m.
Field Trip: Steam Bell Brew Works Brew Process Lecture/Observation Sunday June 10, 2018 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday June 11, 2018 6-9 p.m.
9: Intro to Beer Styles Monday June 18, 2018 6-9 p.m.
10: Business & Marketing Plan Monday June 25, 2018 6-9 p.m.
10: Business & Marketing Plan Monday July 9, 2018 6-9 p.m.
10: Business & Marketing Plan Monday July 16, 2018 6-9 p.m.
11: Licensing & Regulation Monday July 23, 2018 6-9 p.m.
11: Licensing & Regulation Monday July 30, 2018 6-9 p.m.

Certificate ceremony will be held in early November 2018, date TBD.

Certificate Requirements

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11 Modules

All modules must be completed successfully to be eligible for the professional certificate.

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Internship + Field Experience

The 20-hour, month-long internship along with two field experiences will be scheduled depending on host availability.

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1 Notebook

You’ll build a professional reference notebook that includes recipes, styles of beer, a glossary of terms, and research and essays.

Modules

1. History of Craft Brewing
2. Intro to Brewing Terminology
3. Intro to Essential Ingredients
4. Intro to Brewing Technology & Craft Brewing Process
5. Intro to Safety & Sanitation
6. Equipment, Maintenance, Packaging & Distribution
7. Quality Assurance for Brewers
8. Biology of Yeast & Fermentation Process
9. Intro to Beer Styles
10. Creating a Business & Marketing Plan
11. Licensing & Regulation

Tuition & Fees

Total Cost

$2,299 includes required texts, materials, field trips and internship placements

Payment Options

  1. Advance payment in full: If entire payment is received before the first class, receive a $200 discount ($2,099 final cost)
  2. Four equal payments: You may pay $575 each semester for 4 semesters. Payment is due the first day of Think Again registration for each semester. You must contact the Program Manager to enroll in this option.

No application fee or payment is due at the time of application. Rolling admission is used to admit students to the program. Payment (or arrangement for the payment plan) is due by the start of the program.

Online Application

Ready to Apply?

We are now accepting applications for the Fall 2018 cohort.

Complete our online application for the cohort starting in October 2018. The process is quick and simple, and will likely take little more than 15 minutes.

  • We’ll ask about your highest level of education, but don’t worry — no college experience is required for this program.
  • We’ll ask to write a brief statement of intent to help us match your goals to the curriculum’s requirements.
  • We use rolling admissions to admit students until all spaces are filled. Apply early, as limited spaces are available in the program!

The online application will open in a new window and require you to log in with an existing application credential or to create a new login.

Join our Contact List

We’ll add you to our contact list and send you periodic updates about this and other SPCS noncredit programs. Bold fields are required.

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Regional Partners

Alewerks Brewing Company
Ardent Craft Ales
Copper Fox Distillery
Garden Grove Brewing Company
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Kindred Spirit Brewing
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Midnight Brewery
Old Bust Head Brewing Co.
Steam Bell Beer Works
Strangeways Brewing
The Answer Brewpub
Triple Crossing Brewing Co.