By Charlotte Cowan, The Shout New Zealand
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is launching two new beer qualifications – Level One Award in Beer and Level Two Award in Beer – from February 2024.
The new beer qualifications 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 Mirella Amato, Senior Business Development Manager – Beer, WSET Americas – world-renowned beer educator and consultant, and one of only 22 Master Cicerones – as well as Stuart Howe, Technical Development Manager, Institute of Brewing & Distilling.
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 One and Two 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, the courses will explore the main types and styles of beer, key methods of production, tasting technique and food pairings.
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.
“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.”
Sarah Andrew, Business Development Manager – ANZ, WSET Asia Pacific, says being involved in a new award launch for WSET has been an incredible experience.
“Production and enjoyment of beer as a beverage is high in Australia and New Zealand, and consumers and trade alike will be curious to learn more,” she said.
The announcement comes as WSET reveals that for the previous academic year (2022-23) its non-wine (spirits and sake) candidates have grown at the fastest rate, increasing by 27 per cent, while the number of wine candidates is up by 21 per cent.
Wine remains the strongest performing qualification for WSET with candidates making up 88 per cent of its student base in the last academic year.
Overall, in academic year 2022-23, 143,000 candidates enrolled for a qualification, up 22 per cent from the previous year. With courses offered by over 700 course providers in 78 countries.
To learn more about WSET’s qualifications or to find a local course provider, visit wsetglobal.com.