A global survey of WSET-Approved Course Providers carried out in January 2020 showed that more than 60% of respondents were interested in or very interested in providing beer qualifications.
WSET already offers qualifications in three subject areas – wine, spirits and sake. It now plans to add two beer qualifications (Levels 1 and 2) to its portfolio, both online and in the classroom.
Although still in the early stages of development for these new qualifications WSET is working in partnership with the Institute of Brewing & Distilling – a global provider of technical education to professional brewers, distillers and associated suppliers – on this initiative in creating the beer qualifications.
“The IBD diversified into beer appreciation and flavour training with the acquisition of the Beer Academy over 12 years ago,” said IBD Chief Executive Jerry Avis.
Beer is not a totally new subject stream for WSET either. Prior to 2005 it was included in its Intermediate wine and spirits qualification (equivalent to today’s Level 2).
WSET Level 1 and 2 Awards in Beer will be created with both trade professionals and consumer enthusiasts in mind and explore the main types and styles of beer, key 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.
“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” said WSET Chief Executive Ian Harris, “so it makes sense for us to bring our educational expertise to the sector.”
There are no official dates yet for the launch but, as an initial step, WSET Educator Sara Hobday DipWSET has been appointed Head of Product Development – Beer Qualifications. To learn more about WSET’s online courses visit WSETglobal.com.