Our courses are offered 100% online in order to provide you with maximum flexibility to meet the demands of your busy schedule. Each online course is 8 weeks long. You may select individual courses, or enroll in the University of Vermont’s Business of Craft Beer Certificate which requires completion of any of the three courses listed below.

All courses offer weekly one-hour live sessions. Attendance is optional, and the sessions are recorded. Session days and times vary from semester to semester.

Offered: Fall and Spring

Spring Dates: March 1, 2023 – April 25, 2023
Fall Dates: TBA
Course Tuition: $1495 ($1196 for Certificate Alumni,  Pink Boots Society, Home Brewers or Brewers Association Members Discount)
Course Duration: 8 weeks
Learning Format: Online

Instructors: Audra Gaiziunas and Josh Lance

Download a sample Brewery Finance and Accounting Syllabus

The Brewery Finance and Accounting course will provide participants with a strong financial foundation and understanding of craft beverage accounting concepts for those seeking management positions at their current brewing operation, or for those seeking to open their own brewery or cidery in the future. This class will introduce the necessary tools to create business plans and pro forma financial statements for those seeking to launch their own operation. It will progress into cost accounting concepts as they apply throughout the production process and conclude with a thorough overview of brewery financial accounting statements and reporting, including the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flows. Participants will walk away with the necessary financial knowledge and templates to improve existing operations, or to create a business plan for a new craft beverage entity.

Program Highlights

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify common financial issues and outline possible alternative courses of action.
  • Understand the components and basic structure of the pro forma financial statements.
  • Create a range of financial documents including: sources and uses statement, balance sheets, income statements, and statements of cash flow.
  • Utilize breakeven range/analysis and basic financial ratios.
  • Identify which combination of sources of financing best fit the brewery’s particular needs.
  • Examine cost accounting and assess direct vs. indirect costs, fixed vs. variable costs, and overhead.
  • Calculate the cost by batch of beer, track variances, and improve the gross margin.
  • Establish divisional accounting for accountability.
  • Improve existing brewery operations, or create a business plan for a new craft beverage entity.


Week 1: Top financial Mistakes/ The Importance of Finance in Craft Beer
Week 2: Business Plan
Week 3: Accounting Basics for Craft Breweries
Week 4: Financial Accounting I
Week 5: Financial Accounting II
Week 6: Cost Accounting Models I
Week 7: Cost Accounting Models II
Week 8: Financial Analysis

Offered: Spring

Dates: January 25, 2023 – March 23, 2023
Course Tuition: $1495 ($1196 for Certificate Alumni,  Pink Boots Society, Home Brewers or Brewers Association Members Discount)
Course Duration: 8 weeks
Learning Format: Online

Instructors: Nick Posloski, Steve Rockhold, Phil Leinhart, Oralee Corbett, Mike Gerhart, Mark Benzaquen and Rod Waite

Download a sample Business Operations in Craft Beer Syllabus

In the Business Operations Track, you’ll learn about how the many components of craft brewery operations and supply chain must fit together to build a profitable, efficient, and sustainable business. Students will address key topics such as sourcing and procurement, quality systems, new brewery start-up and capacity planning, forecasting, production planning, inventory, logistics, and environmental sustainability.

UVM has partnered with Ekos Brewmaster, the industry leading software solution for managing the business side of your brewery.  We integrate the Ekos software into each of our learning modules, so that you will benefit from using the software in real world case studies.  Whether you are looking to be hired by a brewery or start your own brewery, knowledge of how to use Ekos, combined with the practical understanding of brewery operations, will help you to run a more efficient and effective business so that you can be more successful.

Participants will examine

  • Making Craft Beer
  • Sourcing, Procurement and Receiving Materials
  • Forecasting and Inventory Management
  • Quality, Maintenance, Utilities and Safety
  • Environmental Sustainability and Enabling Systems
  • Overview of Craft Brewery Planning Processes:
    • Long-term Planning I – Location and Design
    • Long-term Planning II – Capacity
    • Mid-term Planning – Demand Planning
    • Short-term – Operations Planning and Scheduling
  • Operations and Supply Chain Risk Management – Assessment, Mitigation and Contingency Planning
  • Human Resources and Staffing considerations


Week 1:  Brewery Operations and Supply Chain Fundamentals
Week 2:  The Brewing Process and Required Resources/Ekos Brewmaster: Setting Up Your Brewery
Week 3:  Long Term Planning – Building a Craft Brewery, Considerations, Location, Sizing, and Capacity
Week 4: Sourcing, Procurement and Receiving Materials
Week 5: Demand Management -Forecasting, Inventory: Receiving and Shipping
Week 6: Mid and Short Term Planning and Scheduling
Week 7: Quality
Week 8: Maintenance, Utilities, Environmental Sustainability

Offered: Summer

Summer Dates: TBA
Course Tuition: $1495 ($1196 for Certificate Alumni and/or Brewers Association Members Discount)
Course Duration: 8 weeks
Learning Format: Online

Instructors: Tim Brady and Mat Medeiros

Download a sample Digital Marketing and Social Media Promotion in Craft Beer Syllabus

Both the marketing landscape, and that of craft beer have evolved significantly over the past decade.  Breweries and their marketing teams need to consider alternative strategies and tactics in order to reach and connect with prospects and consumers.  What worked a few years ago, may not work now, or even a few months from now.  Digital marketing has become a predominant component of many marketing mixes in recent years.  And, now it is critical that multiple marketing channels and disciplines are leveraged together in order to remain relevant to the always on, always connected customer life-cycle. This online course focuses on introducing the craft beer professional to a breadth of core and emerging digital channels and disciplines. Students will learn the holistic value of creating a clear digital marketing strategy, the tools to support it, and the skills to evaluate and refine it. Understanding the interconnected value of various marketing channels will set you apart from other beer professionals and guide your development as a digital marketing expert within this field.

Participants will

  • Examine key trends within the craft beer/digital marketing landscape
  • Explore the fundamentals of developing a digital marketing strategy as they plan tactics and identify goals.
  • Gain a foundation for planning budgets and tactics from a strategic perspective
  • Recognize SEO as a fundamental building block for online marketing and create an optimization plan.
  • Assess a website’s ability to rank well in terms of SEO
  • Create effective display ads
  • Identify the best places to “place” craft beer ads
  • Examine what paid search is, what it isn’t, and where ads appear
  • Identify typical goals advertisers may have when running paid search campaigns
  • Develop an email and sending strategy
  • Learn about different types of social media and how to maximize the impact of each channel
  • Develop a social media calendar and create a social media budget
  • Identify different types of content, various distribution methods, and evaluate why each one may, or may not, work for their brewery
  • Develop strategies for dealing with negative consumer feedback, and practice using these instances as opportunities for improvement
  • Identify tools and strategies to gather consumer data and monitor online reputation
  • Increase awareness of legalities around advertising and marketing beers and breweries
  • Use analytics to improve their digital marketing strategy


Week 1: Exploring the Digital Marketing Landscape
Week 2: Research and Content Evaluation
Week 3: Planning Your Digital Strategy
Week 4: Developing Your Strategy and Engaging Your Audience
Week 5: Testing and Optimizing Your Content
Week 6: Implementing Your Strategy and Managing Your Content
Week 7: Analyzing and Evaluating Your Digital Strategy
Week 8: Identifying Opportunities and The Future of Digital Marketing

Offered: Summer

Dates: TBA
Course Tuition: $1495 ($1196 for Certificate Alumni and/or Brewers Association Members Discount)
Course Duration: 8 weeks
Learning Format: Online

Instructors: Kary Shumway and Jon Reynolds

Download a sample Distribution and Sales in Craft Beer Syllabus

This course focuses on the various strategies and tactics required to sell beer and promote a brewery’s brand. With the growth of taprooms as a focus for many breweries, we will also examine how to maximize revenue opportunities and engagement with customers. Whether you are planning a brewery or a career in beer sales, this course provides essential details to gain success in today’s crowded retail market.


  • Exploring the full sales landscape including how the three-tier system impacts the sale of beer, understanding the buyer/seller landscape, modeling the sales forecast, and increasing its accuracy
  • Understanding the margin structure for beer pricing
  • Examining a range of sales techniques to handle retailer objections, gain the retailer buy-in, and close the sale.
  • Building a successful relationship with your distributor and how this relationship informs the sales process
  • Maximizing taproom sales
  • The sales process for breweries who elect to self-distribute
  • How VIP and Ekos Brewmaster can assist in the sales process


Week 1: Industry Trends and the Three-Tier System
Week 2: Beer Pricing and Packaging Trends
Week 3: Distribution Part 1: Partnering with a Distributor
Week 4: Distribution Part 2: Self-Distribution
Week 5: The Buyer/Seller Landscape in Beer Sales
Week 6: Sales Techniques and Gaining Distributor Buy-in
Week 7: Maximizing Sales, Forecasting, and Evaluation Tools
Week 8: Category Management

Offered: Fall and Spring

Spring Dates: March 29, 2023 –  May 23, 2023
Fall Dates: TBA
Course Tuition: $1495 ($1196 for Certificate Alumni,  Pink Boots Society, Home Brewers or Brewers Association Members Discount)
Course Duration: 8 weeks
Learning Format: Online

Instructors: Joel Hueston, Mike Kallenberger and Bob Russell

Download a sample Marketing and Branding Your Brewery Syllabus

As competition within the beer industry continues to grow, branding and marketing play an even greater role in ensuring a brewery’s success. While it is important to make great beer, in today’s landscape you also need to know how to build your brand, establish a compelling “WHY” and effectively market your brand and products. This course will address key industry trends, identify “best-practices” in differentiating your brewery, reveal how to build a solid branding and marketing plan, and demonstrate how to measure success and plan for the future.

Participants will examine

  • Key opportunities and challenges in today’s beer/beverage marketplace
  • The craft beer drinker and his/her motivations
  • The role that marketing, branding and sales play and how they are interconnected
  • Basic requirements of a successful business/marketing plan
  • Positioning strategy in detail and how it influences all brewery decisions
  • Choices a new brewery faces in terms of packaging, distribution and pricing
  • How the principles of positioning and branding have been successfully applied to specific objectives (i.e. naming, rebranding, portfolio selection, taproom/brewery design)
  • How a brewery successfully promotes its brand and products
  • How events, sponsorships and promotions help to build valuable connections to the consumer audience
  • How to decide between self-distribution and a wholesaler partnership and the key criteria within each
  • How to evaluate the performance of marketing and branding activities
  • How to incorporate key findings into a marketing plan


Week 1: Trends in The U.S. Beer Market
Week 2: Trends in The Craft Category
Week 3: Basics of Marketing and Branding
Week 4: Brand Positioning Strategy
Week 5: Branding Examples (Part One)
Week 6: Branding Examples (Part Two)
Week 7: Marketing Execution
Week 8: Measurement and Research

We also offer a variety of FREE Certificate add-ons to help you succeed in the industry after you complete our Certificate. You can choose one or both of these options.

  • Capstone Project (present your project to our instructor team of industry experts)
  • Cicerone Certification (which gives you access to one of their BeerSavvy Courses)

2022/2023 Course Schedule

Course Summer 2022 Session Fall 2022 Session Spring 2023 Session
Brewery Finance and Accounting 9/21/22 – 11/15/22 3/1/23 – 4/25/23
Business Operations in Craft Beer 8/24/22 – 10/20/22 1/25/23 – 3/23/23
Digital Marketing and Social Media Promotion in Craft Beer 7/20/22 – 9/13/22
Distribution and Sales in Craft Beer 6/1/22 – 7/26/22
Marketing and Branding Your Brewery 10/19/22 – 12/13/22 3/29/23 – 5/23/23
Capstone Project By Invitation By Invitation

Optional and Free Add-On Services:


Capstone Project (optional 3-5 week course with certificate)

Business of Craft Beer Certificate participants complete a culminating 3-week capstone project after the completion of your three certificate courses. This will give you an opportunity to apply your learning to create a business plan or a product launch plan that will prove useful as you embark on your new career. You will have the opportunity to present your project to our instructor team including craft beer industry leaders for critique and feedback. Select one of two capstone projects

Craft Brewery Business Plan
Create a comprehensive business plan tying together the knowledge and skills gained from the program. Create a presentation providing an overview of your craft brewery business plan to your team of instructors.

Product Launch Challenge
Create a new product launch plan for an existing brewery, or a fictional brewery. In this challenge select a new craft product for a brewery to add to their portfolio with supporting rationale. This challenge aligns with beer styles, branding, legal, digital media, and distribution weeks and will require a comprehensive application of each of these components.

Value add – Cicerone® Certification Program

We have collaborated with the Cicerone® Certification Program, a recognized leader in providing training and certifications in preparing you to elevate the beer experience for consumers. When you enroll in our Business of Craft Beer Certificate program, you can choose to enroll in Level 1 or Level 2 at no additional cost.

Level 1 Cicerone® Certified Beer Server ($200 value)
Become knowledgeable about beer service and beer styles through Cicerone’s online BeerSavvy® course, which will prepare you to pass the Certified Beer Server Exam, a recognized industry credential. The online course takes about 5-10 hours and you can complete it anytime at no additional cost when you are enrolled in the Business of Craft Beer program. Offered: Anytime while enrolled in our certificate

Level 2 Certified Cicerone® Exam Prep Course Books ($200 value)
You will have access to any 2 of the 4 Certified Cicerone® exam prep books at no additional cost. Written by Cicerone®, the official course books cover a wide range of material from beer history to brewing techniques and service issues. They will prepare you to pass the industry-recognized Cicerone® exam. Each book also includes six months of access to the online forums and an online quiz to test your knowledge in preparation for the exam. Offered: Anytime while enrolled in our certificate