Offered: Summer

Dates: August 16 – October 10, 2023

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