We’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions for the Business of Craft Beer program. If you have additional questions about the program, be sure to reach out to our admissions team at 802-656-2085 or submit the inquiry form available on this site.

Is there a required course to start the program or sequence of courses?

Participants come from various backgrounds and with different goals for taking The Business of Craft Beer program. To provide optimum flexibility, participants may select any course to begin their studies. There is no required sequence. Based on a participant’s background, any three courses may be selected. (For those wanting additional courses, a 20% alumni discount is available.)

Can I use VA Education Benefits, GI Bill or military tuition assistance to pay for this certification?

The University of Vermont is able to certify VA benefits for the Business of Craft Beer Professional Certificate program. If you intend to use VA benefits for this program, please register and contact UVM’s Veterans Affairs Coordinator, David Carlson, via email at dcarlson@uvm.edu (preferred) or by phone at (802) 656-0581, and Program Specialist, Annie Bentley at Annie.Bentley@uvm.edu, to inform the university of these intentions. To register without a deposit (if using Post 9/11 GI Bill or VRE Chapter 31) please call our Noncredit Office at (802) 656-8407.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Students in this program may choose to pay out of pocket, or use personal loans to pay for the program. Additionally, our program is certified for VA benefits and can be eligible for State Department of Labor workforce development grants to help you pay for courses. Contact your State Department of Labor to determine which grants may support individuals seeking education to pursue opportunities for career change. Learn more on our tuition & financing page.

Are discounts available for this program?  How do I apply using the discount?

Yes, there is a 20% discount for UVM Affiliates, Brewers Association and HomeBrewers Association Members, Pink Boots Society and anyone in the Craft Beer industry. If you are working in the craft beer industry just choose either Brewers Association or HomeBrewers when you register to receive the discount.

Is tuition remission available for UVM employees?

This is a Non-Credit program therefore tuition remission is unavailable for UVM employees. UVM employees may select the 20% discount option available during registration.

When can I register for the Add-Ons?

You will receive a survey the first week of class asking if you would like to take one of the Cicerone courses.  Cicerone allows up to 3 of the books as part of this agreement.  It typically takes a week to receive the codes, so you would get it during week 3.

The Capstone Project is a huge benefit to anyone registered for the certificate.  You can register for the Capstone when you’re in your third course.  You really need the knowledge from the three courses to work on your Capstone Project.

How are you different from the Cicerone courses?

We are focused on the business of craft beer to help you to successfully launch and manage a brewery operation or move into a career in the beer industry in finance, marketing, operations, and more.

The Cicerone certification program certifies and educates beer professionals in order to elevate the beer experience for consumers. They offer excellent programs for the hospitality industry where you will be selecting, acquiring, and serving today’s wide range of beers. They offer 4 levels of certification including:

  • Level 1: Certified Beer Server
  • Level 2: Certified Cicerone
  • Level 3: Advanced Cicerone
  • Level 4: Master Cicerone

Is the Cicerone exam complimentary, or do students pay to take the exam?

Yes, the Certified Beer Server exam is included and the exam is already loaded to your account. You can initiate the exam by going to your Cicerone.org My Account page and selecting the ‘Cicerone program knowledge pre-test’ – which can be found along the right-hand side in the ‘Your Stuff’ section. Once you pass the 5-question pretest with 100% the exam will become available and appear in the ‘Your Stuff’ section.

Specific content questions for Cicerone?

Questions for Cicerone can be sent via email: info@cicerone.org. They respond within 24 hours Monday – Friday.

When can I sign up for the Capstone Project? When are Capstone Projects Assessed? Is there an additional Charge?

Business of Craft Beer Certificate participants complete a culminating 3-week capstone project after the completion of your three certificate courses.  Note: You may be in your last course and start the Capstone Project.  This will give you an opportunity to apply your learning to creating 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.

Capstone projects are reviewed two times per year, or every six months. In most cases there is only a short period between the completion of all courses and your Capstone Review.

There is no additional charge for your Capstone Project review. Enrolling and completing the Capstone is not mandatory.

Do you have to be 21 years of age or older to enroll in the Certificate or take a course?

No, you do not be to be 21 years of age or older in order to take any of the courses or complete the certificate.

I want to start my own brewery or Brew Pub. What courses do you recommend for me?

We recommend that you take the comprehensive Business of Craft Beer Professional Certificate which will prepare you to launch your own brewery, and also allow you to select a track that aligns to your specific needs. Learn more about the courses available in our program.

I want to start a new career in the Craft Beer industry by working at an existing brewery, distributor, or some other area of the business. What courses do you recommend for me?

That’s great! We have many students who have enrolled in our certificate and courses who want to turn their passion for craft beer into a career. While you can take individual courses, we recommend that you take the Business of Craft Beer Certificate. This will provide you with a comprehensive program that will prepare you to succeed in launching your new brewery. Read more about the courses available in the program. You can also chat with our Program Director.

I already work in the craft beer industry. How will your courses help me?

We’re glad to hear that you are already in Craft Beer! We find that our courses can complement your experience by providing additional knowledge and skills for you to take your career to the next level. Our certificate program has five course offerings that you can pick and choose from to best fit your needs. Our advisers are also here to help if you have any questions about which course is best for you.

Do you offer access to Specialized Industry Software such as Ekos Brewmaster?

Yes, students have access to Ekos Brewmaster in the Business Operations in Craft Beer course.

What is a typical schedule like if I enroll in the entire Business of Craft Beer Professional Certificate?

Typically, our courses start mid-week (Wednesday or Friday). This allows you to complete your readings on Thursday and Friday, and then gives you time on the weekend to engage in discussions and complete your written assignments. Monday and Tuesday will be a great time for you to continue to refine and edit your assignments before submitting them, and continue participating in the online discussions. We expect that students will spend approximately 8-10 hours per week on assignments, readings, and discussions for each course.

When are the live sessions for these courses?

These sessions can shuffle, so please check on the syllabus for the live session day.  It will also be posted by your course facilitator in the Blackboard announcements.

  • BCB101 Marketing and Branding Your Brewery: Mondays or Tuesdays at 7:30pm ET
  • BCB102 Business Operations in Craft Beer: Tuesdays at 7:30pm ET
  • BCB105 Brewery Finance and Accounting: Mondays or Tuesdays at 7:30pm ET
  • BCB103 Distribution and Sales: Mondays or Tuesdays at 7:30pm ET
  • BCB104 Digital Marketing and Social Media Promotion: Mondays or Tuesdays at 7:30pm ET

Do I need any prior knowledge of beer brewing or are there any pre-requisites for the certificate or courses?

There is no specific coursework required for this program. Primarily, we want you to be enthusiastic about the craft beer industry, and engaged and interested in learning the business side of craft beer.

How often are the courses offered?

Courses start four times per year: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Not all courses are offered each enrollment period. For frequency and specific dates of courses see below:

Marketing and Branding Your Brewery: 2 times per year
Digital Marketing & Social Media Promotion in Craft Beer: 1 time per year (Summer)
Distribution and Sales in Craft Beer: 1 time per year (Summer)
Business Operations in Craft Beer: 2 times per year
Brewery Finance and Accounting: 2 times per year

What is the weekly time commitment for the courses?

Most students spend about 8-10 hours per week on the coursework.

I am a busy professional. What are the requirements for the online courses?

We understand how busy you are and also how hectic life can be. Our professional certificate program and individual courses are 100% online. You’ll have flexibility in your access to course material at any time or day. We do offer optional weekly live sessions at 7:30pm EST on Mondays or Tuesdays, depending on the course, which provides a unique opportunity to interact with our expert instructors in real time. Attendance at live sessions is not required and we record these sessions for you to watch if you can’t make it.

May I take two courses at a time?

Yes, for each quarterly enrollment period you may register for two courses. Depending on which courses are selected, start dates have been staggered so you will be half-way through one course before starting the second one. This will help address workload concerns in most cases. That said, you will need to be able to devote 16+ hours per week for a 4-week period when courses overlap. If you would like to discuss this with our staff before committing to a second course, please contact us a call at 802-656-2085 or submit the inquiry form available on this site.

If you are able to commit the time, taking two courses during one enrollment period will enable you to complete coursework in 16 weeks, followed by the Capstone Project.

What kinds of positions might each track prepare me for?

Based on national employment data, leading job opportunities in the craft beer industry are found in sales, marketing, and operations. Our Certificate and courses were developed around the industry’s need and for providing the best career opportunities for our graduates.

The following are potential career tracks within craft beer:

Sales and Social Media:
Opportunities in sales are prevalent at breweries, beer distributors, and craft beer brands in retail and wholesale accounts. Positions include:

  • Sales Representative
  • Merchandise and Apparel Manager
  • Brewery Field Representative
  • Regional Sales Manager
  • Sales & Distribution Manager
  • Division Sales Manager
  • National Sales Manager
  • Director of Sales
  • VP of Sales
  • Director of Sales and Marketing.

Digital Marketing:
Many opportunities focus on use of digital marketing and social media to promote craft breweries. Positions include:

  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Brand Manager
  • Digital Marketing Coordinator/Director
  • Marketing Manager/Director
  • Craft Brand Manager

Business Operations:
As the size and complexity of craft breweries expand, coordination of operations is becoming more important. Positions include:

  • Logistics Manager
  • Plant Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Logistics Coordinator
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Inventory Control Manager

Can the course be taken from anywhere, including outside the US?

Yes! We love it when we have students from other countries enrolling in our courses. Our courses are 100% online. Please note that the optional weekly evening live sessions led by guest speakers from across the craft beer industry, may be difficult to manage from a time zone significantly different from Eastern Standard Time. While participation in these sessions is not required, it does offer unique access to industry leaders in highly interactive Q&A sessions. All sessions are recorded and will be made available to students.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed on your participation in the discussion boards, completion of assignments, and comprehension of the course material.  All students who earn a 70% or greater, in each course, will receive a passing grade towards completion of their digital badge/certificate.

This is a non-credit, certificate based, program. At the conclusion of the program students do not receive a letter grade but instead receive a certificate of completion. In order to receive a digital badge for the Business of Craft Beer Program, students must successfully complete three Business of Craft Beer certificate courses. Students also have the option of creating a Capstone Project following the completion of three courses.

Because this is a non-credit program, there is no transcript.

Do you offer student learning accommodations?

If you are a non-credit student seeking accessibility support, please email access@uvm.edu and the UVM Student Accessibility Services team will be able to assist. In your email, please include that you do not have a 95 number/NetID. 

What is the payment policy for this program?

Students may register by paying the full $1,495 program fee for each course online via credit card or by calling us at 802-656-8407 to make a partial payment of $500. Should you make a partial payment, the remaining $995 must be paid in full no later than two weeks prior to the start of this offering. If payment is not received by then, you will automatically be dropped from the course the following business day. Refunds will be issued less a $25.00 cancellation fee.

What is the refund policy for this program?

If you need to cancel your attendance, you must notify us via email at learn@uvm.edu or call us at (802) 656-2085  at least three business days prior to the start date of the course to receive a full refund, less a $25 cancellation fee. If a medical condition necessitates cancellation/withdrawal (documentation provided), this will be reviewed by our Studies Committee for any type of refund.

How many Continuing Education Units (CEUs) is this program approved for?

The Business of Craft Beer program has been approved for 21 CEUs, you must successfully complete the program in order to receive the CEUs. CEUs will be printed on the certification of completion.

Will I receive a 1098-T for this program?

1098-T forms are not issued for this program. However, you may be eligible for a tax credit without this form if you meet IRS requirements. For more information, please see this link https://www.irs.gov/individuals/llc or consult with a tax professional.

Have a question that is not listed here?

Our Advisors are here to help. Please call us at 802-656-2085 or submit the inquiry form available on this site. We also host webinars occasionally to provide you with an opportunity to speak with the program director.  You can also email learn@uvm.edu.