Best Beer Brewing Classes

Further your knowledge of homebrewing or pursue a career

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Photo composite of two unlabeled beer bottles and a keg

Simply Recipes / Designed by Amelia Manley

A beer brewing class is an online course or in-person workshop that teaches students how to brew beer. These classes can be one-time events over several hours, a weekend where attendees learn the basics about brewing beer, or they may be part of a longer certification program that also goes over other aspects of owning a brewery such as business operations and marketing.

The best beer brewing classes are those aligned with your current level of knowledge and provide education that matches your goals, such as becoming a better homebrewer or working as a brewmaster. The best class should also meet your needs for online or in-person instruction, allowing for hands-on training and professional certification when needed. Continue reading for more about the best beer brewing classes.

Best Beer Brewing Classes of 2021

Best Overall: University of California Davis Continuing & Professional Education in Brewing

University of California Davis

University of California Davis

Why We Chose It: University-level training opportunities are offered for everyone from advanced homebrewers to professionals in the brewing industry.

What We Like
Organization is well respected in the industry
Online course options
Comprehensive brewing course options
Short courses focused on specific brewing topics

What We Don’t Like
Cost of Master Brewers Certificate Program

UC Davis gives you the opportunity to learn about brewing from a university that is well-known for its contributions to the industry, with top-rated instructors and research facilities. The programs are ideal for those eager to learn about brewing, whether you are a hobbyist or have plans to become a commercial brewmaster.

The university offers one- and two-day introduction courses, week-long intensive classes, and online tutorials, some of which are self-paced. Those who want a broad understanding of brewing science should choose the Introduction to Practical Brewing Course, but there are offerings for shorter courses that focus on specific aspects of brewing, such as recipe development and flavor profiles for beer quality. Available courses are open for enrollment online and the fees range from $299 to $1,400.

For those who want to earn a certificate to qualify for work in the brewing industry, UC Davis offers the more extensive Master Brewers Certificate Program. This 15-week training takes place on campus between March and June. The in-depth course includes reading and writing assignments as well as visits to breweries in Northern California. You’ll need to apply to be accepted into the program and tuition is $16,000.

Best Online Certificate Program: Institute of Brewing & Distilling General Certificate in Brewing

Institute of Brewing & Distilling General Certificate in Brewing

Institute of Brewing & Distilling General Certificate in Brewing

Why We Chose It: You will learn every aspect of the brewing process through online course units and then be tested on your new knowledge to earn your certificate.

What We Like
Respected organization in the industry
Extensive course content
Learning materials included in price

What We Don’t Like
Set exam dates and registration deadlines

For a professional certification through fully remote learning, this General Certificate in Brewing course from the London-based Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) is ideal for those who want to work for a brewery or start their own. The eight-unit, interactive course covers everything from raw materials to fermentation and quality control, and your course materials are included in the fees.

The estimated study time required is 60 hours. Once you complete the online course and are ready to take your exam, you can book an exam slot from the available dates. The exam is taken online with remote monitoring from IBD.

The cost is 485 British pounds, which is around $700 depending on exchange rates. Students also have the option of purchasing extra support to help with extensive exam preparation for 60 British pounds (about $100).

The General Certificate in Brewing is a prerequisite for the IBD’s Diploma in Brewing. Those who wish to further their knowledge of beer brewing can move onto the diploma program and eventually to the Master Brewer exam and credential.

Best On-Site Short Course: Appalachian State Summer Brewing Short Course

Appalachian State Summer Brewing Short Course

Appalachian State Summer Brewing Short Course

Why We Chose It: You’ll receive classroom and hands-on training during this intensive short course at the university’s North Carolina campus.

What We Like
Hands-on training
Access to equipment and research facilities

What We Don’t Like
Only offered once per year

This five-day beer brewing short course from the Appalachian State University's Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences takes place at the end of July on campus in Boone, North Carolina. The course is for those working in the brewing industry as well as advanced homebrewers and those interested in starting their own business.

You’ll spend your mornings in classroom discussions covering topics from raw ingredients and recipe development to packaging and regulations. The mornings will also include production-level tastings and sensory analysis reviewing beer styles from around the world. Training becomes more hands-on in the afternoons, with time spent in the lab analyzing ingredients and quality and brewing beer.

The cost of the course is $2,000. Lunch is provided daily and course materials are delivered digitally with no extra fees. Travel and lodging are not included in the fee, but the university offers a reduced-rate hotel block nearby for participants in the brewing short course.

Best Self-Paced Classes on a Budget: Craft Beer & Brewing Video Courses

Craft Beer & Brewing Video Courses

Craft Beer & Brewing Video Courses

Why We Chose It: You’ll learn about brewing different styles of beers from top brewers at your own pace for an affordable price.

What We Like
Price
Style-specific classes
Basics of brewing for beginners
Online and self-paced

What We Don’t Like
No hands-on training

If you are interested in learning more about beer brewing with online courses and you need to stick to a budget, check out Craft Beer & Brewing’s library of video courses. Topics range from how to brew specific styles of beer with instructors from well-known breweries to more foundational brewing education such as bottling basics and the fundamentals of malt.

Each individual course costs about $30, or you can choose to subscribe for one year for $100. You’ll receive a 30-day free trial to decide if the courses are right for you before you commit. A subscription includes access to more than 60 video courses, every digital copy of the Craft Beer & Brewing magazine, and a weekly brewing guide.

Each course can be viewed from your computer, tablet, or phone and offers two to four hours of video education. Quizzes and interactive content are included to help you evaluate your learning experience. Certificates are offered for completed courses.

Final Verdict

The best beer brewing classes are those that meet your specific needs and provide the right level of education for your career goals. UC Davis was selected as the best choice overall due to the variety of beer classes with options for everyone from homebrewers to professionals. For those on a budget and who want to learn at their own pace, Craft Beer & Brewing has several online courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Beer Brewing Class?

These classes teach you how to brew beer covering everything from raw ingredients to quality control and sanitation. The level of education you’ll receive depends on the type of course you choose and the organization providing it. For example, on-site and certificate programs often offer hands-on training in a brewery setting, while online classes provide visual learning through reading and watching videos of the brewing process.

How Much Do Beer Brewing Classes Cost?

The cost of a brewing class depends on whether the course is online, on-site, who it is offered by, and if it earns you a professional certificate or degree. Short online brewing classes for homebrewers cost as little as $30 each. Short courses from universities often cost around $300. In-depth courses that include hands-on training start at about $1,400, while those who earn professional certificates can cost up to $16,000.

What Kind of Beer Brewing Class Should I Enroll In?

Choosing the right beer brewing class for you depends on several things: your current brewing knowledge, brewing goals, expected time commitment, budget, and ability to travel for on-site training. Beginners and hobbyists with lower budgets should start with online brewing classes. Those who intend to make brewing a career should seek out extensive on-site courses that include hands-on training and a certificate of completion.

How We Chose the Best Beer Brewing Classes

We took into consideration the types and number of classes offered, location, price, target audience, and the prestige of the organization when choosing the best beer brewing classes. For example, Craft Beer & Brewing offers a number of affordable online brewing courses for beginners, while The Institute of Brewing & Distilling provides certification from a renowned organization for those who are planning to work in the brewing industry.