10 Top Online Schools for Brewing Science


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10 Top Online Schools for Brewing Science

The top online schools for brewing science offer many programs from professional certificates to master’s degrees in brewing science. As one of the oldest and most popular beverages in the history of the world, beer has a special place in most people’s hearts.

In the United States, the brewing industry is booming. Less than ten major manufacturers dominated the market until the last twenty years. Those big guys are still around. However, there are now thousands of smaller breweries and, today, close to nine thousand breweries nationwide. These breweries employ over 130,000 workers and are a growing economic force.

According to the Master Brewers Higher Education Committee, by obtaining a certificate or degree in brew science, many potential jobs in different fields are opened up to the graduate. So whether you are a brewery owner, a homebrewer, or simply interested in brew science, earning an online degree or certificate in brewing science will help tremendously.

How We Ranked The Top Online Schools for Brewing Science Programs

The editors at Online Schools Guide found schools offering online Brewing Science certificate and degree programs. Then, based on reputation, cost, and future salary, we ranked the programs. Here is our list of the Top 10 Online Schools for Brewing Science Programs! 

Online Brewing SchoolProgram
1. Auburn University  Graduate Certificate Program in Brewing Science and Operations, MS in Brewing Science and Operations degree
2. Cornell University Craft Brewing Certificate Program
3. University of California Davis  Master Brewers Certificate
4. University of Oklahoma  Chemistry of Beer course
5. Oregon State University Microbiology and Beer Analysis for the Brewer and Quality Assurance
6. University of the SciencesBrewing Science Certificate
7. University of VermontBusiness of Craft Beer Professional Certificate
8. California State University San Marcos Basic EngiBeering Certificate, Advanced Brewing Science
9. Laramie County Community College Craft Brewing Program, Food Science Technicians Career Program
10. Portland State University Business of Craft Brewing Program
Online Schools Guide Top 10 Online Schools for Brewing Science Programs

1. Auburn University 

Online Offerings: Graduate Certificate Program in Brewing Science and Operations, MS in Brewing Science and Operations degree

Auburn University offers two online programs in the brewing science field of study. Students can choose from the eighteen-credit Graduate Certificate Program or the thirty-three-credit Master of Science in Brewing Science and Operations degree.

Both programs teach students everything they need to know about brewing, malting, and distillation. In addition, a one-time weekend residency in partnership with Oskar Blues is required for all program students. Students can complete the residency requirement at either the Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard, North Carolina or Longmont, Colorado.

Graduates of the certificate program are prepared for entry-level positions in brewing operations. However, MS graduates are qualified for more advanced positions in these industries. In addition, graduates of the certificate program are eligible to sit for the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s (IBD) General Certificate (GC) examinations. Both of Auburn’s Brew Science programs are part of the College of Human Sciences within the Hospitality Management Program. Auburn University, founded in 1859, is located in Alabama and offers over one hundred fifty programs.

2. eCornell from Cornell University 

Online offerings: Craft Brewing Certificate Program

An extension of Cornell University, eCornell is one of the top online schools for brewing science and offers a craft brewing certificate program.

With a hands-on approach, this program walks students through the four main ingredients of beer production. The program consists of five classes that are each two weeks long. Most students complete the certificate in two to three months. Classes topics include malt, hops, yeast, and water profiles. In addition, students learn about the production and refinement of beer.

Cornell offers online certificate programs through its external education platform, eCornell. All of the courses are by faculty from Cornell University. In addition, over one hundred certificate and professional development programs are available at eCornell. 

3. University of California Davis 

Online offerings: Master Brewers Certificate

Students can complete their brewing science studies online and earn the Master Brewers Certificate at the University of California Davis. The UC Davis program is touted as the best brewing program in the nation.

It gives students in-depth training in brewing science and brewery engineering topics, including mashing, malting, brewing fermentation, finishing, heat and mass transfer, fluid flow, solid-liquid separation, sensory science, and much more. In addition, students will learn how to evaluate and select raw materials for various brewing techniques, design a brewery unit, problem-solve when it comes to the quality of products, and apply sensory science techniques to make process decisions. The UC Davis program also offers students an optional in-person Bootcamp. In the week-long training, students receive hands-on instruction in a brewery setting.

Since 1964 UC Davis has been a leading provider of university-level education in brewing science. Through its Continuing and Professional Education branch, UC Davis offers brewing programs to everyone from hobby brewers to brewing industry professionals. UC Davis accepts applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. The college offers various programs under several areas of study, including agricultural and environmental sciences, biological sciences, letters and science, and engineering. 

4. University of Oklahoma 

Online offerings: Chemistry of Beer course

The University of Oklahoma’s online brewing science program is the Chemistry of Beer Course. This online brewing course earns students one credit hour and runs for eight weeks. It will satisfy a science credit, and students can take it at their own pace.

Students will learn about malting, mashing, and the fermentation process while better understanding the chemistry makeup behind the flavors of craft beer they may already enjoy. Students will also learn the good or bad impacts that beer has on the health of those that consume it. In contrast, they learn information about the four main ingredients in beer, including hops, barley, water, and yeast. 

The University of Oklahoma offers various degree programs, such as accounting, aviation, architecture, petroleum, and geographical engineering, interior design, regional and city planning, and much more.

5. Oregon State University

Online offerings: Microbiology and Beer Analysis for the Brewer and Quality Assurance

The online brewing science program at Oregon State University is the Microbiology and Beer Analysis for the Brewer and Quality Assurance class. This comprehensive course is well-known as one of the top fermentation science research programs globally.

Both advanced hobbyists and professional brewers find the six-week online program engaging. Students learn the fundamental techniques in microbiology, imperative to make a perfect brew. Graduates complete the course of study knowing the basics of craft beer brewing and the microbiology of brewing. They will also learn about ethanol and the basics of packaging brew properly. At the end of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion online that can then be printed out.

Oregon State University also offers programs in communication and writing, education, gardening, horticulture, forestry, health, STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

6. University of the Sciences

Online Offerings: Brewing Science Certificate

Microbreweries now account for over 135,000 jobs throughout the country. The University of the Sciences offers a brewing science certificate. This online program prepares students for careers in the industry.

Featuring a team-teaching model, the curriculum of this online brewing certificate combines knowledge and instruction from faculty and industry partners. Students receive hands-on experience in both a pilot brew lab and the field. Best practices in quality control, microbiology, and even the ideal layout for a laboratory are part of the program. In addition, students can enroll in either a one-year or two-year path to complete the certificate. 

The University of Sciences offers an array of different graduate degrees and certificates. The school first opened in 1821 and was the first college of pharmacy in North America. Today the school enrolls over 2,200 students and offers more than thirty degree programs on-campus and online.

7. University of Vermont

Online Offerings: Business of Craft Beer Professional Certificate

Another one of the best online brewing science programs is available at the University of Vermont. The Business of Craft Beer Professional Certificate Program offers students the business knowledge to succeed in the craft beer industry. This online brew science certificate program consists of three courses. Each eight-week course is delivered online. To operate a successful brewery in today’s world, you need a strong business foundation. A base of knowledge in brewery finance, beer sales, marketing, operations, distribution, social media promotion, and branding is vital to success.

Students in the UV program receive hands-on experience from instructors and guest speakers considered professionals in the craft beer industry. In addition, students can select courses that promote and sell craft brew or even start their own brewery. Optional Add-Ons to the certificate are available at no charge. They include online career coaching and Level 1 and Level 2 Cicerone Certifications. In addition, the University of Vermont offers a variety of course programs and degree programs in addition to the Business of Craft Beer certificate. 

8. California State University San Marcos

Online Offerings: Basic EngiBeering Certificate, Advanced Brewing Science

The two engineering certificates in brewing science at the California State University in San Marcos are open to students at least 21 years old and older. CSU San Marcos offers both the Basic EngiBeering Certificate and the Advanced Brewing Science Certificate.

Students learn about the science and engineering involved in creating craft beer. In addition, students also learn everything it takes to make beer from field to glass. Along with the history of craft beer, students also learn ways to evaluate beer by identifying flavors and the quality of the beer. Students can then use their knowledge to craft beer or even become a judge at beer competitions throughout the country and beyond. 

California State University in San Marcos also offers professional development online courses, such as graphic design with Photoshop, Blockchain, and certified electronic health records with medical terminology and bachelor’s degree programs.

9. Laramie County Community College

Online Offerings: Craft Brewing Program, Food Science Technicians Career Program

The Craft Beer Program at Laramie County Community College teaches students all the different aspects of the brewing science process. This online brew science curriculum includes everything from selecting high-quality ingredients to using all of the different types of brew equipment.

Students will also learn proper sanitation practices in the beer industry and develop and carry out recipes for a large variety of craft brews. They are also taught how to produce beer from a small scale to a commercial one. While learning the craft brew industry, students also cover marketing, branding, planning, ordering, and inventory for breweries.

Laramie County Community College opened in 1968 and is an accredited school in various programs and courses, from bachelor’s degree programs to individual courses and certificate programs.

10. Portland State University

Online Offerings: Business of Craft Brewing Program

Portland State University offers the online Business of Craft Brewing Program. Offered through the Center for Executive and Professional Education, the craft beverage industry professionals created the program. It is ideal for individuals looking to expand their businesses or advance in their careers as homebrewers.

The business side of craft brewing is highlighted in this fully online certificate program taught by industry experts. However, it also teaches students about both distillery and cidery business models. Basic Business for Craft Beverages and Craft Beverage Business Management are the two core courses of this certificate program. Students must take them as prerequisites before being accepted into the certificate program for craft beer.

The University of Portland is in Portland, Oregon. The town is known as Beervana and is considered the world’s beer capital. So its no surprise Portland State has a online brewing school. In addition, the University offers a wide variety of other certificate programs and bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, from accounting and architecture to women’s studies and special education.

What Is Brewing Science?

Some call it an art form. Brewing science provides a very comprehensive and detailed study of all the steps of the process, from creation to production and even packaging. Brew Science involves Biology, chemistry, mechanics, and physics.

Whether a person is a homebrewer or a brewery owner studying the science of brewing can be very beneficial and rewarding. It is a way for brewers also to learn to craft even more impressive beers that they can enjoy along with friends, family, and even their customers.

What Are Brewing Science Education Options?

There are many Brewing Science education options from career certificates to master’s degrees. You can even earn a brewing and distilling degree online. But, the right option for you depends on your prior education and career goals.

Brewing Science Certificate

A brewery may hire an individual for an entry-level position with a Brewing Science Certificate. They will understand the day-to-day operations and the basic principles used on the job, including cleaning, brew science, and sanitation. A certificate program is also a credential for an individual who wants to start a microbrewery.

Brewing Science Associates Degree

Graduates can land an entry-level position with a two-year associate degree in applied science focusing on the brewing industry. For example, an entry-level job at a brewhouse may focus on maintenance, packaging, or brewing. By obtaining this sort of job, the person can then learn all of the ropes of brewing science to advance further in their career in the future.

Brewing Science Bachelor’s Degree

With a bachelor’s degree in brewing science or fermentation science, a graduate can expect to be hired as a manager in the brewing industry or start their own business. In addition to the science of brewing and fermentation, students in a four-year degree program will learn how to brew raw materials, engineering safety, the packaging involved in a brewhouse, and how to be part of a brewery production team. They will also have a basic understanding of the business of brewing, including inventory management, branding, and marketing.

Brewing Science Graduate Certificate

Students who have a bachelor’s degree in another field and are interested in brewing science may find a graduate certificate the ideal path. A graduate certificate prepares students for entry-level employment in the brewing industry. These are usually one-year programs that cover the basics of the brewing industry. It also provides the opportunity for students to network with industry professionals.

Brewing Science Master’s Degree

Most master’s degrees in Brewing Science are two-year programs. The curriculum of the graduate certificate program is usually the first year. Then the second year is more in-depth and usually includes an internship. With a master’s degree in Brewing Science, a graduate can expect to be hired at a manager-level position.

How Much Can I Make with A Brewing Science Certificate? 

A Brewmaster in the United States makes a little over $41,000 per year while landing a position at one of the top breweries in the country can garner a salary of about $70,000 per year.

Should you decide to open a business, it is up to you how much you will make according to sales, marketing, branding, and the quality of the product you produce.

What Is the Job Outlook for Brewing Science?

New craft beer brewing companies open each year, adding to the number of established breweries. With so many places to find employment, the job outlook in the industry is excellent. In addition, these jobs pay well.

So whether you are on the ground level or in a position to obtain a management-level job, you can enter this growing field and find a great job!


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