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The Business of Craft Beer

Start or Grow Your Brewery Business of Craft Beer

Consider the University of Vermont’s Business of Craft Beer Certificate: Offered fully online, our courses provide participants with the essential business skills needed to be successful in today’s craft beer industry.

Our Program serves:

  • Future brewery owners who dream about opening their own craft brewery
  • Beer industry staff who seek an opportunity to develop new skills and expand their career opportunities
  • Brewery owners looking to expand their brewery but know their team must be highly skilled to take them to the next level
  • Career changers who want to join the craft beer industry in sales, marketing, or business operations

As the craft beer industry becomes increasingly competitive, our faculty and instructors know the key to successfully launching and running a brewery is to build from a solid business and operational foundation. We’ve designed the program to provide essential industry knowledge in production, finance, sales, social media promotion, marketing, branding, and distribution. Participants may also elect to take individual courses without enrolling in the full certificate program. See our program curriculum for details.

Schedule a Time

We have also partnered with the Cicerone® Certification Program to provide additional curriculum at no extra cost.

Certificate Courses

Continuing Education Courses

Why the University of Vermont?

Our courses are led by a team of industry experts, representing small and large breweries, distributors, and consultants to serve as your instructors. You will have access to industry leaders who join our discussions, providing an opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in today’s craft beer industry.

By enrolling in the Business of Craft Beer Certificate, participants will:

  • Experience a Unique Educational Opportunity: As one of the few programs in the country that focuses on running and growing a craft beer business, participants will set themselves apart in the field.
  • Take Advantage of Fully Online Courses: Flexible online courses allow participants the opportunity to balance career, family, and other obligations.
  • Learn from Industry Experts: All of our instructors and guest speakers are industry professionals who’ve been successful in the craft beer industry.
  • Gain Real World Knowledge: The interactive online courses feature real world case scenarios and discussions, all supported by top industry experts.
  • Choose Your Path: Whether your goal is to work for a brewery or distributor in business operations, craft beer sales, or marketing, or you’ve dreamed of starting your own brewery, you will find the courses to help you get there.
  • Expand Your Network: The certificate and courses are a great way to network with other entrepreneurial-minded professionals who are passionate about the craft beer industry.
  • Benefit from Partnerships with Industry Leaders: By integrating components of the Cicerone® Certification Program, participants will gain a deeper understanding of beer styles. Through our partnership with VIP and Ekos Brewmaster software, we demonstrate how these software industry leaders help drive valuable data collection and resource efficiencies in brewery sales and business operations.

Guest Speakers

Chris Herron
CEO of Creature Comforts Brewing Company (Athens, GA)Bart Watson
Chief Economist, Brewers Association (CO)

Dan Herron
Controller of Creature Comforts Brewing Company (Athens, GA)

Val Lang
Head of Finance of Singlecut Beersmiths (Astoria, NY)

Mark Boelman
Director of Finance and Administration at Left Hand Brewing (CO)

Emily Masi
Accounting Manager at Avery Brewing (CO)

Anthony Whalen
Senior Accountant at Oskar Blues (CO)

Warren Dibble
CFO at Harpoon Brewery (VT, MA)

Matt Pope
Controller at Russian River Brewing Company (CA)

Brook Bristow
Owner/Founder at Bristow Beverage Law (SC)

Charles Willett
Controller at NoDa Brewing Company (NC)

Carol Waggener
Founder, Bold Missy Brewery (NC)

Devin Kelly
Co-Owner, Managing Partner, Isle Brewers Guild (RI)

Chris Hodge
Director of Sales Brewing, Oregon Fruit Products (OR)

Lester Jones
Chief Economist, National Beer Wholesalers Association (VA)Hilary Cocalis
Vice President of Marketing, Ballast Point (CA, VI)

Jamie Smith
Brand Marketing Director, Firestone-Walker (CA)

Derek Fernholz
Co-founder & Brewer, Fernson Brewing (SD)

Steve Gagner
Founder/President, 14th Star Brewery, (VT)

J Michael Mooney
Director of Operations, Firestone Walker, (CA)

Rich Ackerman
Harpoon Brewing, (MA)

Adam Beauchamp
Creature Comforts Brewing, (GA)

Matt McComish
Highland Brewing, (NC)

Jeff Nowicki
Chief Strategy Officer at Bump Williams Consulting (CT)

Drew Brosseau
Founder & President at Mayflower Brewing Company (MA)

Dani Hoyler
Director of Sales at 3 Floyds Brewing (IN)

Matt Schoenherr
Area Sales Manager at Pabst Brewing Co. (WI)

Rob Burns
Co-founder, Night Shift Brewing (MA)


“I’ve really enjoyed the course a lot and have actually been able to translate a lot of what I learn into my new job as a Sales Representative for Mayflower Brewing Company! Loving the journey so far and I am so happy to be in the business!”

Matthew K.
Mayflower Brewing Company, Sales Representative

“I used the program to aid me as I grow my beverage focused consulting business. The idea is to get a deeper dive into the stage of the craft beer industry and overall understanding of operations and the supporting factors for opening, and managing a brewery.”

Nicole Lamont
Beyond Brewing Consulting, Oregon

on the Blog

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