FAQs

We’ve compiled a list of or 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.)

If currently enrolled in the Business of Craft Beer, may I switch to the Advanced Certificate?

You may earn both Certificates however, you must complete your current program first. By adding a third course, you will receive the final course at the alumni rate (20% off or $1196).

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

Yes, our certificate and courses are eligible for VA benefits.  Please contact UVM’s Veterans Affairs Coordinator, David Carlson, via email at dcarlson@uvm.edu or by phone at 802-656-0581, and Program Coordinator, Nichole Hathaway at Nichole.Hathaway@uvm.edu or by phone at 802-656-4682 for assistance with VA benefits.

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.

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 Sales, Marketing, Operations, and more.

The Cicereone 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 Cicereone
  • Level 4: Master Cicereone 

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 offered in the Business of Craft Beer 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.

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.  We recommend that you take the Business Operations, Sales and Social Media, or Digital Marketing courses.  Our Advisors are here to help if you have any questions about which course is best for you.

Do you offer an Orientation to Specialized Industry Software such as VIP and Ekos Brewmaster?

Yes, both industry software leaders’ products are incorporated into certain courses (Sales and Distribution in Craft Beer and Operations in Craft Beer). Our goal is to provide an orientation to how these software products help drive valuable data collection and resource efficiencies in brewery sales and operations.

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 Thursday).  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 6-8 hours per week on assignments, readings, and discussions for each course.

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: 3 times per year
Digital Marketing & Social Media in Craft Beer: 2 times per year
Sales and Distribution in Craft Beer: 2 times per year
Business Operations in Craft Beer: 3 times per year
Brewery Finance & Regulatory Compliance: 2 times per year

What is the weekly time commitment for the courses?

Most students spend about 6-8 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 7pm EST on Mon. or 7pm EST on Thursday (depending on the course) which provides a unique opportunity to interact with our expert instructors in real time, but it’s not required, and we record these sessions for you to listen to 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.

When are Capstone Projects Assessed? Is there an additional Charge?

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.

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.

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

Our career coach is available through the Certificate program to assist you to properly position your background for a career in one of the above specializations.

What is the ‘current’ payment policy for this program (Fall 2017)?

All payments must be paid in full two weeks prior to the start of each course. Please note, that you will not be able to attend a course if a balance is due.  You have the option of paying in full by credit card, or by making a minimum payment of $100 at registration, however, ensuring the balance due is paid two weeks before the course begins.  You will receive email reminders if you have a balance due.  Otherwise, if paying by a check or purchase order, these payments can be mailed to:

University of Vermont CDE
ATTN:  Accounts Receivable
322 South Prospect Street
Burlington VT 05401

Please see our tuition & financing page. to learn about resources for financing your education.

What is the payment policy for this program starting Spring 2018?

All payments must be paid in full two weeks prior to the start of this offering. An attendee will not be allowed to attend this offering if a balance is due.  You have the option of paying in full by credit card, or by making a minimum payment of $500 at registration, however, ensuring the balance due is paid two weeks before the course begins.  You will receive email reminders if you have a balance due.  Otherwise, if paying by a check or purchase order, these payments can be mailed to:

University of Vermont CDE
ATTN:  Accounts Receivable
322 South Prospect Street
Burlington VT 05401

What is the ‘current’ refund policy for this program (Fall 2017)?

If you need to cancel your attendance from this offering, you must notify us via email at cdecs@uvm.edu at least 14 days prior to the start date of this offering, to receive a full refund, less a $100 cancellation fee ($100 non-refundable deposit).  If a medical condition necessitates cancellation/withdrawal (documentation provided), this will be reviewed by our Studies Committee for any type for a refund.

What is the refund policy for this program starting Spring 2018?

If you need to cancel your attendance from this offering, you must notify us via email at cdecs@uvm.edu at least 3 days prior to the start date of this offering, 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 for a refund.

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.