Courses

Drive your brewery’s growth by investing in your people through UVM’s accessible and economical online training programs. Our courses are 100% online offering maximum flexibility to meet the demands of your busy schedule.

Instructor: Mary Brettmann
Start Date: Spring 2021

Course Description

This course focuses on how to understand what’s happening with your business and what the books say. You will use your understanding of costing or cost accounting to work with your margins—those differences between what it cost you to brew your beer and the cost to the consumer. Distributing breweries and self-distributing breweries will have different considerations, and we’ll help you navigate whichever road you choose.

You will learn how to calculate margins, identify true fixed costs, and learn how a brewery can improve their profitability using operational benchmarks and regular reporting. You will explore cash flow and learn how to create and maintain a cash forecast to predict bank balances in the short and long term. You will also determine key ratios for your brewery and identify benchmarks to improve your cash flow. “Cash is king,” and you want to ensure that you can purchase the next batch of ingredients, pay your bills, and avoid credit trouble.

Finally, you will calculate both gross and net burn rate to determine how quickly your cash pool is depleted and explore best practices to manage your working capital.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Calculate gross, operating, contribution, and net profit margins
  • Identify actions to improve gross margin
  • Create and maintain a cash forecast and know the difference between a cash flow statement and cash forecast
  • Determine key ratios for brewery finances
  • Set benchmarks for activities that generate the fastest cash inflows and utilize best practices
  • Calculate gross burn rate and net burn rate
  • Manage working capital

Prerequisites

  • Ability to get good data from whatever accounting system you use
  • A basic understanding of accounting data (e.g. chart of accounts, effective period close and financial statement review, bank statement reconciliation, how a budget becomes a forecast, how forecasts work together)
  • Ability to generate an effective costing methodology for beer production and other operations (bill of materials (BOMs), fixed and variable costing, budgeting)

Audience

  • Brewery accounting staff
  • Brewery owners
  • Breweries in planning
  • Financial professionals who service breweries

Instructor: Mary Brettmann
Start Date: Fall 2020

Course Description

Costing, cost accounting, cost of goods sold… where do you start? You have to understand the macro before diving into the micro.

The first stop on this tour is your budget. What percentage of your revenue goes towards your operating expenses? How much do you need to budget for supplies, utilities, or labor? What are your targets? You will identify operational benchmarks that tie back to your budget.

All of the elements of the brewery can be broken down into metrics, and the starting point for all metrics is beer costing. How much does that batch of beer cost, from brewing to packaging? This course walks you through the logical steps of beer costing. Some steps will work for you and some might too costly to maintain.

You will learn how to determine the cost of goods sold (COGS) by setting labor and overhead standards. You will also learn the difference between fixed and variable costs and direct and indirect costs, as well as how to determine and reduce your overhead rate.

Finally, you will learn how to perform a breakeven analysis that ties back to your operational benchmarks or key performance indicators (KPIs), explore best practices, and use labor and overhead standards both to forecast and to determine your brewery’s profitability.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Establish a budget to track and manage expenses
  • Determine cost of goods
  • Discern the difference between fixed and variable costs and direct versus indirect costs
  • Identify labor classifications based on brewery function and how each function fits into cost of goods sold (COGS)
  • Calculate the cost for a batch of beer (from brewing to packaging)
  • Set and manage a labor and overhead standard and use the standard in financial analysis
  • Add fixed overhead rate to bill of materials (BOM) to manage overhead costing in the accounting system in real time
  • Describe how variances are incurred by activity performed and their implications
  • Perform a basic breakeven analysis tied back to operational key performance indicators (KPIs)

Prerequisites

  • Ability to get good data from whatever accounting system you use
  • A basic understanding of accounting data (e.g. chart of accounts, effective period close and financial statement review, bank statement reconciliation, how a budget becomes a forecast, how forecasts work together)

Audience

  • Brewery accounting staff
  • Brewery owners
  • Breweries in planning
  • Financial professionals who service breweries

Instructor: Mary Brettmann
Start Date: October 7, 2020

Course Description

Before you dive into cost of goods sold (COGS), cost accounting, or margins, you need to know how to get good data—to know you can trust the numbers coming out of your accounting system.

You will start by exploring a few key accounting concepts and identifying administrative resources to help you “be everything to everybody.” Then you will create your accounting structure by determining the businesses within your brewery and how best to track them in the system. A chart of accounts (COA) can give you a lot of information, and you will create a customized COA that will enable you to easily see your brewery’s gross margin.

Next, you will identify effective “period close,” or discrete spans of time, and establish a financial statement review. You will learn how to reconcile bank statements and create journal entries for accruals and pre-pays. Finally, you will explore how a budget becomes a forecast and how to use a 360-degree forecast to understand each component of your brewery.

Once all of these steps are in place, you will be able to generate accurate, actionable data that will drive brewery decisions. You will also be able to translate that data into an understandable format for management and other key stakeholders.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify administrative resources
  • Describe key administrative concepts (taxation, insurance, HR, accounting, sales tax, excise tax, etc.)
  • Determine the businesses within your brewery and how best to track them in an accounting system
  • Create a customized chart of accounts (COA)
  • Reconcile bank statements and create journal entries for accruals and pre-pays
  • Complete a financial statement review of your books
  • Articulate how a budget becomes a forecast
  • Describe levels of forecasting and types of forecasts and how all forecasts work together
  • Conduct a 360-degree view forecast to understand each component of the brewery
  • Generate accurate financial data to inform brewery decisions and translate the data for key stakeholders

Prerequisites

None

Audience

  • Brewery accounting staff
  • Brewery owners
  • Breweries in planning
  • Financial professionals who service breweries

Instructor: Kary Shumway
Start Date: 11/4/20

Course Description

With the growth of taprooms as a highly profitable business for many breweries, how can you maximize revenue opportunities and engagement with your customers?

In this course, you will learn strategies and tactics to increase brewery taproom sales and profitability. By creating financial scorecards, you will be able utilize key taproom metrics to benchmark and improve financial performance. You will learn how to create a chart of accounts to further measure and improve your bottom line. You will also learn best practices and how to utilize templates to help you project your taproom sales, margins, and operating costs.

Whether you are planning to open a taproom or have one currently operating, this course provides essential details to achieve financial success.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Implement specific strategies and tactics to grow taproom revenue
  • Utilize a sales growth model to measure and improve customer foot traffic and average spend per taproom guest
  • Create financial scorecards to measure results and benchmark against key metrics
  • Build a taproom financial chart of accounts, summary income statement, and balance sheet
  • Utilize templates to project taproom sales, margins, and operating costs

Prerequisites

TBD

Audience

Current brewery staff and breweries in planning, including:

  • Brewery owners who are considering whether to add a taproom component to their business
  • Taproom managers who are looking for new ways to increase sales and profitability
  • Brewery financial managers who need better tracking and monitoring of taproom financial results

Instructor: Maria Pearman
Start Date: Fall 2020

Course Description

You know what you want to brew. What business structure will best fit your concept and needs?

There are a variety of ways to structure your start-up brewery, from partnerships and B corporations to contract brewing. You will explore the legal and monetary obligations, typical cash inflows and outflows, sample financial statement designs, and tax obligations for each model to help you choose the model that is right for you.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Articulate the key characteristics of the following business models/structures: sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S Corp, cooperatives, B corporations, not-for-profit public houses, contract brewing, and blending houses
  • Determine the appropriate business model/structure to best fit the situation
  • Identify legal, monetary, and tax obligations
  • Create financial statements for the related model/structure

Pre-requisites

TBD

Audience

  • Breweries in planning; specific roles TBD

Instructor: Maria Pearman
Start Date: Spring 2021

Course Description

You want to take your brewery vision and make it a reality—how will you fund your dream?

In this course you will learn strategies for raising the capital to start your brewery. You will start by learning the instruments or sources of funding and what it means to finance via debt versus equity (also known as paid-in capital). You will explore the legal and tax requirements of each financing method, including a cost benefit analysis of each, sample term sheets for various structures, and reporting requirements.

You will also consider how the corporate structure effects your financing choices and how to establish and maintain a successful banking relationship.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify different types of debt and equity instruments/sources of funding
  • Compare and contrast financing options
  • Evaluate the effect of corporate structure on financing choices
  • Perform calculations for your business with metrics commonly used by financiers to assess potential investments
  • Describe the key components of a successful banking relationship
  • Create a term sheet
  • Determine the reporting requirements for your financing method and corporate structure

Prerequisites

  • A basic understanding of accounting and/or finance is helpful.
  • A basic understanding of legal terms and corporate structures is also helpful.

Audience

  • Breweries in planning
  • Breweries who are planning significant expansions of an existing organization
  • Founders, accounting managers, controllers, or CFOs within the alcoholic beverage industry

We understand that these are unsettling times and that we are all trying to find our “new normal.” At the University of Vermont, we can’t imagine a “normal” that doesn’t include both academic and professional development along with the unwavering support of our students. That’s why, until August 1, 2020, we will be offering a 25% discount on the program below. Enter discount code MYUVM25 at time of check out to activate your discount.

Upcoming Courses Schedule

Course Fall 2020
Session
Spring 2021
Session
Summer 2021
Session
Managing Brewery Finances: Cash, Income, and Margins 5/19/21 – 6/15/21
Managing Brewery Finances: Costing 4/7/21 – 5/4/21
Managing Brewery Finances: Creating and Running an Accounting System 10/7 – 11/3
Managing Brewery Finances: Maximizing Taproom Revenue 11/4 – 12/8
The Start-up Brewery: Determining Your Business Structure 9/2 – 9/28
The Start-up Brewery: Financing Your Dream 2/17/21 – 3/16/21