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Craft beer trend brings sharp rise in demand for staff training says Beer Academy

Published:  07 July, 2015

The Beer Academy training group has seen a sharp uplift in interest from pub and bar operators on the back of the craft beer boom.

The organisation said that growing consumer interest in beer styles and heritage, and higher customer expectations of quality are prompting businesses to sign up their staff for its training courses.

The academy has seen a 20% annual increase in bookings for its scheduled beer appreciation courses and is fielding more requests from operators who want bespoke training tailored to their beer range and service style.

It runs a ladder of courses, starting with a Foundation stage, through Advanced and How to Judge Beer programmes, and on to the Beer Sommelier qualification.

Alex Barlow, Beer Academy director of training, said: "From within these courses, it's straightforward for us to select the elements most relevant to a particular operator, supplemented by bespoke elements as required.

"An operator who specialises in a particular beer style or region will want to ensure their staff have the knowledge to discuss those beers with customers and serve them correctly.

"As pubs, bars and restaurants extend their cask, craft and world beer ranges, they are seeking to differentiate their offer within an increasingly competitive market.

"Alongside the fundamental principles of beer knowledge enshrined in our training programme, the Beer Academy is a flexible resource designed to meet the needs of individuals and businesses who share our passion for beer, and so bespoke training is an important part of our support for the industry."

Chinese gastropub Duck & Rice - restaurateur Alan Yau's new venture in London's Soho - gave staff Beer Academy training before opening, and further courses are planned as the bar team expands.

Bar director George Matzaridis says: "The Beer Academy provided great in-depth training about beer taste, production and methodology across a variety of products.

"It helped to enthuse an appreciation for beer styles including IPAs, stout and ale in staff who previously had very little knowledge.  

"I'd highly recommend it for businesses where beer is a core product."

Mike Harrington, operations manager at London pub chain Barworks, added: "Customer interest in all styles of beer is increasing, and we pride ourselves on serving the best and most interesting beers, from brewers both locally and around the world, in our bars. 

"A big part of the enjoyment for customers is being able to talk about the beers, in terms of the style, flavour and provenance.

"We're now working with the Beer Academy to give our staff a planned training programme.

"All of them will have a sound knowledge of beer as well as the skills to serve it well, which will enable them to talk confidently with customers, and enhance the reputation of our bars."