WSET Branching Out Into Beer Qualifications

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) — the world’s largest provider of wine, spirits and sake qualifications — plans to develop a suite of beer qualifications.

WSET wants to add two beer qualifications (Levels 1 and 2) to its portfolio, both online and in the classroom.

While development of these new qualifications remains in the early stages, WSET is working in partnership with the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) on this initiative. IBD is a global provider of technical education to professional brewers, distillers and associated suppliers.

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Beer is not a totally new subject stream for WSET. Prior to 2005, brews was included in the 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, the organization says. The courses explore the main types and styles of beer, key methods of production, tasting technique and food and beer pairing, following the same 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.

“We are always assessing and investigating opportunities to grow our delivery in the global drinks industry,” says Ian Harris, WSET CEO. “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, so it makes sense for us to bring our educational expertise to the sector.”

There are no official dates for the launch but, as an initial step, WSET Educator Sara Hobday DipWSET has been appointed Head of Product Development – Beer Qualifications.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to enrich global beer education through the development of WSET courses with IBD,” says Hobday. “We are constantly receiving enquiries about beer qualifications and many of our course providers have expressed an interest, so it’s great to be able to set the ball rolling.”

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