Six new ways to become a wine, beer or spirits expert in 2020

Become a whisk(e)y master

In the US, the Council of Whiskey Masters recently launched a certification programme for whisk(e)y professionals, leading to the level one title of ‘certified Scotch professional’ or ‘Certified Bourbon Professional’. Candidates can also take on studies to become a Master of Scotch (SM) or Master of Whiskey (WM).

To prepare for the exam, students are given a 100-page study guide. The exam itself consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. To pass, students must score at least 80% or higher, after which they will receive a diploma and can add CSP or CBP letters after their names, making for a more studious CV.

Exam dates will be offered four times per year in local exam centres throughout the US, Europe and Canada. After the foundation level, prospective students can then enrol in another course to become a Certified Whiskey Specialist (CWS).

Later, they can take on studies for the Master of Scotch (SM, Level 3 – enrolment in 2020) and, in 2021, students will be able to enrol in the Master of Whiskey (WM, Level 4 – enrolment in 2021) qualification.

One Response to “Six new ways to become a wine, beer or spirits expert in 2020”

  1. David Glancy says:

    Great article and I would add one more. We launched Northwest Wine Appellation Specialist (NWAS) in 2019 to complement California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) which we launched online in 2013 and in-class in 2012. These are in addition to San Francisco Wine School offering all 3 of Wine Scholar Guild’s programs, Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) from Society of Wine Educators, Somm Essentials, Wine Program Management, Intermediate and Advanced Tasting programs and collaborating with Grape Experience for their offering of WSET programs. Our school launched in 2011 with the mission of bringing all relevant credentials under one roof and being a hub for wine professionals and enthusiasts alike. We have grown to become the largest wine school in the USA with intensive and online available for students globally. Our 4,000 square foot education and event center is near San Francisco International Airport.
    David Glancy, MS, CWE

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