The Brewers Association Launches Online Beer Quality Training

Link to article Brewer working in lab
Share Post

The Brewers Association (BA) developed a new certificate program for the online training center to provide foundational skills and guidance on managing beer quality at a brewery.

The new three-part series results in a certificate of completion in Beer Quality Management and is authored by Alan Windhausen, head brewer of Holidaily Brewing Company and member of the BA Quality and Safety Subcommittees.

Create a free account and access courses in the online training center.

About the Training Program

The three-part training consists of short, self-guided courses that will be an integral component to every brewery’s onboarding and training program for brewery production and quality employees.

Courses may be purchased individually or as a bundle. We recommend that learners who are new to the topics covered progress through the series in the order suggested.

Course Description
Understand and Analyze Quality Risks Explain quality in the context of beer and brewing processes, describe how to manage beer brand and style guidelines, and identify control points for verifying beer quality.
Evaluate Physical and Chemical Properties of Wort Define wort quality in terms of physical and chemical properties that impact beer downstream, recognize the appropriate test for measuring wort quality, and describe the available tools and instruments for performing quality tests on wort.
Examine Microbiological Testing for Fermentation Health Define beer quality in terms of yeast and fermentation health, recognize the appropriate test(s) to measure beer quality, and identify the tools and instruments needed to perform quality tests on beer and yeast.

To learn more about pricing and registration for Beer Quality Management, visit the online courses page.

How a Workshop Evolved Into an Online Course

The new online training is an evolution of the in-person Basics of Beer Quality Workshop, an idea that came from the Technical Committee in 2015. The original workshop was developed with Mary Pellettieri in late 2016, and classes began in 2017. Mary conducted the first in-person classes in 2017 at Allagash Brewing Co and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co in North Carolina.

The program took off, and in 2018, the BA held eight workshops and hired Lauren Torres as lead instructor and Melissa Antoine as a permanent assistant instructor. To support hands-on instruction throughout the year, additional staff were involved, including Damon Scott and Chuck Skypeck of the BA. In 2019, eight more workshops were conducted, and Alan Windhausen came on as the third permanent instructor. Over the years, the BA held a total of 18 workshops and trained nearly 700 individuals.

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 brought the program to an unfortunate end, but Technical Committee members and staff had already been reimagining a virtual offering due to the expense and logistics required to transport instructors and materials to each location. At the time, the price for attendees was just $100, as the BA subsidized the cost of materials to keep the price accessible.

“We were disseminating great information and training, but at a large amount of dollars and human resources per student,” says Chuck Skypeck, BA Technical Brewing Projects Director. “There were many other logistics as well: ordering of equipment and disposables, arranging for lunch, securing audio/video (AV) in many cases. So, a change was in order and COVID-19 forced our hand.”

The new program is not intended to replace hands-on education. Instead, the Beer Quality Management program was created to be a valuable resource that allows many more individuals to access beer quality education than the Basics of Beer Quality Workshop of the past.

The Brewers Association is an organization of brewers, allied trade, beer wholesalers, retailers, individuals, and other associate members, we are in a unique position to centralize learning opportunities. Our goal is to provide an engaging learning experience to aspiring and advancing industry professionals without feeling like another generic training.

Our courseware is developed by experienced educators and industry professionals and reviewed by multiple committees and experts. Additionally, we interview real industry professionals and incorporate their feedback into the curriculum.