Portland State University’s School of Business has created the nation’s first brewing certificate program, called “The Business of Craft Brewing.” The new online program is designed for anyone with an interest in the business side of craft beverages with a focus on craft brewing, but includes business models for distilleries and alcoholic cider facilities.
"There are several good programs in the US that teach how to brew,” said Mellie Pullman, PSU professor and a former brewer leads the program, “but none that focus on the business skills it takes to run a craft brewery, distillery, or cider facilities. That's where we come in."
Although the courses can be taken independently, all four are required to get the certificate and include: basic business for craft brewers, craft beverage business management, strategic craft beverage marketing, and finance and accounting for the craft brewery. The total cost for the certificate is $2,796. There are two additional courses that are optional, the craft beverage immersion weekend takes students to tour breweries and spend time learning from industry experts, and the final project offers a 40 hour supervised internship with one of PSU’s beverage partners.
“No place in the US has the concentration of quality, innovative craft brewers as Portland,” said Scott Dawson, dean of the School of Business. “It just makes sense that we help entrepreneurs become more successful by providing them real-world training and exposure to industry professionals.”
Current industry partners include Widmer Brothers brewing, Rogue Ales, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Bull Run Distilling, Migration Ales, Western Malting, JV Northwest, Metalcraft Fabrication, and Captured by Porches brewing.
“The idea reminds me of when I was a young brewer in Eugene and OSU used to offer short intensive courses,” said Christian Ettinger, owner of Hopworks Urban Brewery. “This reminds me of how nice it was to be in an academic setting without the commitment of a four-year degree.”
The entire program is online, noncredit and available to anyone in the world. There is undergrad and graduate credit-overlay available on the business and marketing courses for students enrolled at PSU.