Craft Beer Academy and Classes
Craft Beer Academy
With the arrival of breweries like Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada, Henderson and Transylvania counties are quickly becoming the epicenter of a growing craft beer industry. And as these breweries seek to fill skilled position in their growing workforce, Blue Ridge Community College is at the forefront of supplying qualified applicants. The Craft Beer Academy is preparing students with all they need to know about brewing, cellaring, packaging, and shipping, for a fulfilling career in this exciting job market.
Craft Beer Industry Payscale
Average wage, craft brewing technology position (Data from NC Labor Statistics)
$16 per hour
approximately $48,000 per year
Blue Ridge Community College is one of two exam sites in North Carolina to provide examinations for highly coveted industry examinations.
- General Certificate in Brewing — Institute of Brewing & Distilling
Craft Beer Classes
Blue Ridge Online Brew School
Students learn what it takes to become a craft beer brewer with this combination online and onsite craft beer brewing course. The course combines weekly online instruction with a mid-semester half-day session at Oskar Blues Brewery. Gain an unparalleled online and in-person look into the world of craft beer brewing with instruction from professional brewers. Upon completion of this course, participants will be prepared to take the IBD General Certificate in Brewing exam. Students must be at least 21 years old to enroll.
BRCC Brew School at Oskar Blues
In the brewery at Oskar Blues, a leading craft beer maker, students learn first hand what it takes to become a craft beer brewer through this unique and innovative method of instruction. A combination of weekly classroom and on-site brewer experience offers a thorough understanding of each of the stages of the brewing process. Students hear from guest speakers and work alongside Oskar Blues employees to bring classroom instruction to life. As an assignment, the class will also brew its own batch for sampling in the brewery’s tasting room. Upon completion of this course, participants will be prepared to take the IBD General Certificate in Brewing exam. Students must be at least 21 years old to enroll.
Business of Craft Beer
Students learn about the craft-beer brewing industry. Courses focuses on identifying beer flavors and styles and understanding the brewing process and beer ingredients. Students gain a knowledge of beer history and historical styles, retail beer storage and service issues, and beer pairing principles. Upon completion, students can sit for various national certification exams.
Craft Beer Brewing
Students will expand their knowledge of the brewing, cellaring, packaging and shipping process. They learn first-hand from guest speakers, as well as from field trips to area breweries. Upon completion of this course, participants will be prepared to take the IBD General Certificate in Brewing exam. Students must be at least 21 years old to enroll.
Craft Beer Industry Insights
Learn about and experience first-hand some of the many topics important to the craft beer brewing industry. Gain an understanding of raw material production, distribution, craft beer bar ownership, legal issues and marketing/event planning. You will also visit several off site locations in this class. If you love craft beer and are interested in learning more about this exciting industry, then this course is for you. Students must be at least 21 years old to enroll.
Fundamentals of Craft Beer Track
Students get an in-depth understanding of both the making and serving of beer and learn about the various types of beer and how each is made. As students sample various styles of beer and gain a basic understanding pairing beers with foods, they develop practices for the best presentation and serving of beer. Upon completion, participants will be prepared to take the coveted Cicerone Certification exam. Students must be at least 21 years old to enroll.
Sensory Analysis of Craft Beer
Students will prepare to become certified beer judges by learning about the brewing process on site at Oskar Blues Brewery, studying the BJCP exam guide, and tasting different beer styles including off flavored beers. At the conclusion of the course, students will take the BJCP Beer Judge entrance exam. Upon successful completion, students will be provisional judges and can elect to take the BJCP beer judging examination to become a BJCP member and certified beer judge. Students must be at least 21 years old to enroll.
ServSafe Food Safety Manager
The course prepares students for the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification examination. Classes cover the essential tasks managers must know for food safety, including handling food, from receiving to storing to preparing and serving. The program provides science-based information about running a safe establishment and reducing the risk of foodborne illness.
Sustainability and Craft Beer
Learn current environmental concerns for the booming Craft Beer Industry including water usage, CO2 emissions, solid waste and hop and barley production techniques. While a vast majority of craft breweries place an emphasis on sustainability, there is still much room for improvement. This course will help you gain an understanding of both brewing issues and ways to address them. Students must be at least 21 years old to enroll.
TiPS (Training Intervention ProcedureS)
Learn how to responsibly sell, service and consume alcohol with the globally recognized TiPS® (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) program. TiPS empowers you to take a proactive approach toward preventing alcohol misuse and maintaining control of the service environment. The program is designed for servers at restaurants, bars, hotels, in-store tastings, or other establishments where alcohol is consumed on the premises as well as for employees in an alcohol manufacturing setting. You will learn strategies to ensure responsible alcohol awareness and service and specific state and local regulations governing the manufacture and consumption of alcohol. Students must be at least 21 years old to enroll.