WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) has announced the first accredited Australian providers of the Level One and Level Two Beer courses.

Starting March 2024, five organisations will be able to deliver courses to trade professionals and consumers interested in expanding their knowledge of beer. The first approved organisations include Juice Wine Education and Training Consultants in South Australia, Bacchus Academy and Archive Academy in Victoria, and the Queensland College of Wine Tourism. Endeavour Group has also been approved to train its own staff.

This is the first time in 10 years that WSET has expanded into a new drinks category, and will mark WSET’s fourth qualification stream following wine, spirits and sake. The course has been designed by Sara Hobday, WSET Head of Research and Curriculum for Beer, and Mirella Amato, Master Cicerone and WSET Senior Business Development Manager for Beer, in collaboration with industry experts.

Australia is an ideal location to launch the qualification, according to Sarah Andrew, WSET Head APP Development, APAC.

“We have identified Australia as the most important market to launch our WSET beer qualifications in the Asia Pacific region, based on production and consumer engagement.  Harnessing our experience as leaders in global drinks education, our new Level One and Two Awards in Beer will bring a unique and interactive approach to tasting and learning.

“Having completed both awards and the Educator Training Program for beer, I am excited that WSET is now able to share these courses with both trade professionals and enthusiasts through our network of course providers,” she said.

The Level One Award in Beer is a beginner level qualification which will cover beer ingredients and production, the characteristics of over 20 key beer styles, and how to store, serve, pair and taste beers.

The Level Two Award in Beer is an intermediate level qualification with a longer duration and broader scope than the Level One award. It provides greater detail on the topics covered in the Level One course, educating students about how production influences the way beer looks, tastes and smells, how beer ingredients are used and processed, and the identifying characteristics of more than 60 beer styles and how they are produced.

Gill Gordon-Smith of Juice Beverage Consultants said that this is an important step for the Australian beer industry.

“The beer scene in Australia has been growing for some time, especially in the craft sector, and the industry is ready for professional development opportunities. Beer now takes its place alongside wine and spirits. This will benefit consumers and staff looking to learn more about what they love,” she said.

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