Instructor: Mary Brettmann
Start Date: TBD

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)


  • 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)


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