WSET branches out into beer eduction

17 June, 2020

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust has announced plans to branch out into offering dedicated beer qualifications for the first time.

The WSET has enjoyed considerable success in running sake courses alongside wine and spirits education over the past few years. It now plans to add beer to the growing range of drinks categories it covers.

It will work in partnership with the respected Institute of Brewing & Distilling on the new initiative.

WSET chief executive Ian Harris said, “We are always assessing and investigating opportunities to grow our delivery in the global drinks industry. Beer is by far the single largest category in the industry and, with the growth of the craft beer movement, it has become increasingly diverse and complex, so it makes sense for us to bring our educational expertise to the sector.”

The WSET previously dedicated a small portion of its intermediate wine and spirits qualification to beer, but that stopped in 2005.

It will now offer Level 1 and Level 2 awards in beer. The courses will focus on styles, methods of production, tasting technique and food and beer pairing, following the same well-established principles as the Level 1 and 2 courses in wines and spirits.

Courses will initially be developed in English before being translated into other languages.

Sara Hobday will lead the beer qualification initiative at the WSET, although there is no official start date just yet.

“We are constantly receiving enquiries about beer qualifications and many of our course providers have expressed an interest, so it’s great to be able to set the ball rolling,” said Hobday.

Jerry Avis, chief executive at the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, added: “The IBD diversified into beer appreciation and flavour training with the acquisition of the Beer Academy over 12 years ago.

“We are now excited to work with WSET to bring that expertise to a global market and to enhance opportunities for both organisations in supporting the brewing and hospitality sectors worldwide.”

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