BB402 Craft Beverage Business Management

About This Course

From employee management to sustainability implementation, participants will learn how to align their business models with their missions. This course covers the aspects of the craft beverage business from the business operations and supply chain management perspectives. Participants will be introduced to brewery and distillery production and operations as well as the interfaces between brewery/brewpub and brewery/distributor.

This course also introduces the role of distributors and how to manage product in the supply chain, including the three-tier distribution system, franchise law and regulations, and contracts. Instructors will explain how these areas affect self-distribution, pub and distillery issues, and internet and direct sales.

Course Snapshot



2 times per year (Fall & Winter)


5 weeks


Course Schedule     Register Now

Man in apron smiling at tablet with brewery equipment behind him

Business of Craft Brewing

While big name domestic beer sales have decreased, craft brew sales in the US continue to grow, capturing 12.7 percent of the overall market in 2017. With 6,000-plus craft breweries in the US today, a passion for brewing and a good recipe are simply not enough to thrive in such a crowded market.

What You’ll Learn

Upon completion of this course, students will have gained the knowledge to:

  • Identify the appropriate capacity plan for a brewery along with fixed and variable operating costs;
  • Develop a forecast and production plan for weekly operation of a brewery or distillery;
  • Determine the ROI for capital investments such as energy conservation improvements, bulk grain storage, and water and/or effluent treatment;
  • Implement a basic quality control program;
  • Understand brewery inventory management;
  • Recognize the key interactions with pub, food, and direct sales;
  • Create an operations and distribution plan.

The Learning Environment

This course is entirely online and includes live sessions with the instructors, recorded videos, guest speakers, assignments, and quizzes. Approximately 8-10 hours per week is recommended for work on this course.

Additional Information

Basic Business for Craft Beverages is a prerequisite for this course. A reliable internet connection and Microsoft Excel are required.

Courses in this Certificate Track

Enrolling in the full certificate program allows for more comprehensive learning in regard to the business of craft brewing.

Courses may be taken individually and in any order unless otherwise noted. Four courses are required to complete the certificate. If pursuing the certificate, all courses in the certificate program must be completed within three years. Visit the program page for a recommended sequence.