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WSET announces first beer course providers

Published:  10 January, 2024

The WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust), the global leader in drinks education, has announced the first course providers to offer its Level 1 and Level 2 Awards in Beer.   

From February 2024, the WSET will launch its fourth qualification area following wine, spirits and sake, and the first new subject stream since 2014 when sake was introduced.

The education body was founded in 1969 offering three core qualifications for the trade: Certificate in Wines, Spirits and Other Alcoholic Beverages, Higher Certificate in Wines and Spirits and Diploma in Wines and Spirits.

Next month the WSET School London and TheDrinkSchool will be the first to offer in-person and online courses to trade professionals and people interested in expanding their knowledge of beer in the UK. In addition, Molson Coors Beverage Company, a multinational drink and brewing company, has been approved to deliver WSET beer courses to internal teams and customers. 

Gary Keller, Wine & Drinks expertise director, of Molson Coors Beverage Company, said: “Beer has never been more exciting than it is today. It is great to see WSET replicating their courses on wines, spirits and sake with Level 1 and 2 Awards in Beer. Beer education is somewhat behind other segments such as wine and spirits, but WSET’s new courses provide an important step in increasing overall knowledge of this exciting and vibrant drink. 

“From a customer point of view, this course will help staff increase their beer expertise and share that knowledge of ingredients, brewing processes, flavours and styles with customers. Drinkers are looking for better experiences across all categories and increased knowledge from courses such as this will help improve drinkers’ ability to appreciate and explore the world of beer.” 

The announcement comes as WSET reveals that for the previous academic year (2022-23) its non-wine (spirits and sake) candidates have grown at the fastest rate, increasing by 27%, while the number of wine candidates is up by 21%. 

Wine remains the strongest performing qualification for the WSET with candidates making up 88% of its student base in the last academic year.  

Overall, in the academic year 2022-23, 143,000 candidates enrolled for a qualification, up 22% from the previous year, with courses offered by over 700 course providers in 78 countries.

The new beer courses have been created by WSET’s Sara Hobday (head of research and curriculum for beer), and Mirella Amato (master cicerone and WSET senior business development manager for beer), in collaboration with industry experts.  

Rachel Webster, WSET global APP development director added: “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.” 

WSET School London will run Level 1 Award in Beer courses from Friday 14 February and Level 2 Award in Beer courses from Monday 19 February. Now available to book.