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WSET to launch new beer qualifications

The WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) is due to launch two new beer qualifications, Level 1 Award in Beer and Level 2 Award in Beer, from February 2024.

The beer qualifications will set the global standard for tasting and education in the beer category and have been created by WSET’s product development team, led by Sara Hobday, head of product development – beer qualifications.

The team has been supported by Stuart Howe, technical development manager from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling and beer educator and consultant Mirella Amato who is the senior business development manager – beer at WSET Americas and one of only 22 Master Cicerones.

The WSET has stated that entering into beer is a natural progression for the organisation because the principles it is founded on transfer easily into the category. Beer will be WSET’s fourth qualification area following wine, spirits and sake and the first new subject stream since 2014 when sake was introduced.

WSET Level 1 and 2 Awards in Beer will provide both trade professionals and beer enthusiasts with the product knowledge and tasting skills to become more beer confident.

Initially launching online and in-person in select markets, including the UK, US, Canada and Australia, the courses will explore the main types and styles of beer, key methods of production, tasting technique and food pairings.

Additionally, using WSET’s trademarked ‘systematic approach to tasting’, students will be equipped with a universal language to describe what they’re tasting and a framework for assessing quality.

Michelle Brampton, WSET CEO, said: “Extending our qualifications to encompass beer is an exciting time for WSET and a natural fit for us as leaders in global drinks education. Bringing over 50 years of educational experience to the beer category, our new Level 1 and 2 Awards in Beer will bring a unique and interactive approach to tasting and learning. We hope people will be inspired to pursue their passion for beer whether for career or personal development using our courses to build their knowledge.”

David Rudman, executive director, WSET Americas & WSET Asia-Pacific added: “Launching into the beer category is an enticing prospect for us. Not only is the United States already our largest market for all our other drinks qualifications, the size of the beer industry and the enthusiasm for North American beers makes it the logical next step. There’s also excitement brewing in our Asia-Pacific markets where beer captures a significant share of attention. We hope our new courses will inspire beer professionals and enthusiasts by equipping them with essential knowledge and skills.”

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