Main image

WSET announces first North American beer course providers

Main image

WSET, the global leader in drinks education, today announced the first course providers to offer its Level 1 and Level 2 Awards in Beer in North America.    

From February 2024, these organizations will be the first to offer courses to trade professionals and people interested in expanding their knowledge of beer. The organizations include:  

Christian Oggenfuss, CEO & Founder, Napa Valley Wine Academy, said: "Being selected as one of the inaugural course providers for WSET’s beer qualification fills us with immense excitement and pride. This new addition to our curriculum represents a significant milestone in our journey and a pivotal moment in the world of beverage education. We eagerly anticipate welcoming a diverse group of students, each driven by their unique passion and ambition in the beer industry. This qualification aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing comprehensive, top-tier certifications. We are thrilled to be at the forefront, shaping the future of beverage professionals and expanding the horizons of those seeking to deepen their expertise in the ever-evolving world of beer.” 

Bringing with it over 50 years of educational experience, WSET’s new beer qualifications will set the global standard for tasting and education in the beer category. Beer will be WSET’s fourth qualification subject stream following wine, spirits and sake. The courses have been created by WSET’s Sara Hobday (Head of Research and Curriculum – Beer), and Mirella Amato (Master Cicerone and WSET Senior Business Development Manager for Beer), in collaboration with industry experts.  

WSET Level 1 and 2 Awards in Beer will provide both trade professionals and beer enthusiasts with the product knowledge and tasting skills to become more beer confident. Launching online and in-person, the courses will explore the main types and styles of beer, key methods of production, tasting technique and food pairings. Using WSET’s trademarked Systematic Approach to Tasting, students will be equipped with a universal language to describe what they’re tasting and a framework for assessing quality.   

Rachel Webster, WSET Global APP Development Director, said: “2024 will be an exciting year for WSET as we expand into a new drinks category for the first time in 10 years. Harnessing our experience as leaders in global drinks education, our new Level 1 and 2 Awards in Beer will bring a unique and interactive approach to tasting and learning. We hope they will inspire both trade professionals and enthusiasts by equipping them with essential knowledge and skills.” 

Mirella Amato, WSET’s Senior Business Development Manager, Beer, said: This is an exciting time for WSET as we extend our qualifications to encompass beer. A lot of work has gone into assembling the courses and credentials to make them accurate, relevant and useful to both beer drinkers and professionals. It will give beer-lovers the knowledge and tools to enjoy beer…even more!” 

Louise Smith, Vendange Institute, said: “The Vendange Institute is excited to announce that we have expanded our wine education to include the new WSET Level 1 Award in Beer. This is a beginner-level qualification for anyone interested in learning the basics about lagers, ales, sours and more through sight, smell and taste. The training program will commence in the spring of 2024 at our 440 Albert Street location in Ottawa.” 

To celebrate the launch of our new beer qualifications, we ran a series of bitesize webinars exploring the world of beer. To catch up on our webinars, visit our Events Hub on YouTube.

To learn more about our new beer qualifications sign up to our newsletter and watch our beer launch video.