By: Paula Polei

It’s back to school time! Have you thought about brushing up on your craft beer education? Or, maybe you are ready to further your appreciation of craft beer. Whatever the case (no pun intended), BOB compiled a list of the top five educational resources to get you started or advance your education.

1.’s Beer 101 Course
For individuals looking to learn the basics of craft homebrewing, the Beer 101 Course is an informative, affordable option. The course materials include the history of beer, brewing ingredients and processes, vital statistics, ABV, beer styles, glassware and food pairings. Additionally, this course includes interviews with some of the leading craft brewers in America. Upon completion, you earn a certificate from the Brewers Association.

2. Beer Conscious Training
Beer Conscious Training is a tremendous resource for individuals looking to pass industry exams such as the Cicerone, Beer Judge Certification Program and Beer Steward Exams. This resource includes online, DVD and customized training tools for distributor sales reps, brewery employees, retailers and individuals. This training system gives craft brew professionals within the industry the comprehensive knowledge necessary to drive growth and increase sales of craft beer products.

3. Beer Judge Certification Program
The Beer Judge Certification Program is designed to develop standardized tools, methods and processes for the evaluation, ranking and feedback of beer. The program promotes beer literacy and the appreciation of beer, while recognizing beer tasting and evaluation skills. With more than 4,500 active judges in the program, the program encompasses 23 different beer styles.

4. Cicerone Certification Program
Founded by long-time brewer and beer expert Ray Daniels, the Cicerone Certification Program offers independent assessment and certification, and is designed for experts who love and are passionate about craft beer. There are four levels of beer certification, including:
Level 1 – Certified Beer Server: First-level certification for those who work with beer
Level 2 – Certified Cicerone: Certification for professionals dedicated to beer
Level 3 – Advanced Cicerone: Designation of distinctive expertise and tasting skills
Level 4 – Master Cicerone: Ultimate test of beer expertise

5. American Brewers Guild
Designed for brewers who have a more difficult time getting away from their brewery, the American Brewers Guild distance learning program offers two courses – the Craft Brewers Apprenticeship (CBA) and the Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering (IBS&E). The courses include a combination of web-based classes, textbooks, videos and one week on-site at their working brewery, and, for the CBA participants, a five-week apprenticeship at a production brewery.

So, whether you are new to the industry and are looking for resources on starting your craft brewing business, or you are a seasoned brewer just looking to enhance your education, these are great resources to consider. Happy studying!