Brewers bring expertise from a diverse array of fields including engineering, chemistry, microbiology, physics and business, and must be able to apply that knowledge on a daily basis. The UC San Diego Extension Brewing certificate curriculum provides students with the technical skill and knowledge to select raw materials, produce wort, manage yeast and fermentation processes, and finish and package the product, all to the highest industry standards. The business curriculum provides graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to administer all financial and managerial operations of a brewery.
Taught by leading professional brewers and other industry experts, the UC San Diego Extension Brewing Certificate is a part-time, evening and weekend program that offers academic and practical training for entry-level brewing professionals. The certificate can be completed in 18-24 months and students may take as many or as few classes as fit their schedule. Tuition is paid per course at the time they are taken.
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For detailed information, please enroll in the Brewing Program Information Session.
There will be a $60 fee upon acceptance into the program
Find out more about the program in a free, onsite information session.
Get an introduction to Extension's new Professional Certificate in Brewing at this free information session. Information sessions are open to the public but the certificate courses are by application only.
Get an overview of craft brewing on an industrial scale, from raw materials through finished product. Learn technical brewing terminology for equipment and processing. Throughout the course, the science and technology underlying each step is clearly explained, as well as providing a focus on the practical considerations involved in the industrial production of craft beer.
Discover the vital details in the selection and processing of the key raw materials of beer—water, a starch source such as grain, hops, and yeast—as well as the ins and outs of grain handling and malt analysis. The carefully controlled germination of the grain, through the multi-step malting process, is presented and demonstrated. Expert guest speakers will join students in class and focus on specific topics related to the selection of quality raw materials.
Knowing how to customize the fermentability and body of beer is a key component in producing a quality brew. Get the essential details in the process of preparing, on an industrial scale, malted grain for fermentation and the variations on this process that create specific styles of beer. The science and technology of the process, as well as the industry brewhouse standards involved in milling, mashing, lautering and boiling, are discussed.
Fermentation determines both the alcohol content and the level of carbonation in beer production. Learn the professional-scale standards and practices key to producing beer from wort by fermentation with a specific brewing yeast strain. Various fermentation processes, leading to different beer styles, are discussed, including yeast propagation and proper handling, as well as maintaining consistency of product in a commercial brewing environment.
Finishing involves the control of beer maturation, the filtration of particulates such as yeast, equilibrium in carbonation, and the packaging, kegging or bottling of beer. Study the science, technology and management involved in finishing beer on a professional scale. Learn the specifications for the equipment necessary to produce high quality beer including chillers, filters, carbonators, centrifuges, aging and holding tanks.
Effective sensory analysis is essential both to correct flaws in raw materials and in the brewing process, and to control the ingredients and process to produce various outcomes and styles, such as lager, pale ale, IPA, saison, amber ale and stout. Get training in the industry’s standard sensory analysis tool, the Beer Flavor Wheel, by review of the four basic flavors, progressing to off-flavors and fermentation by-products, mouthfeel and fullness.
Knowing how brewing equipment is conceived of and constructed, as well as the engineering principles important in successful commercial brewing, enables brewers to evaluate engineering proposals and discuss them with engineers. Learn about the vital engineering models and concepts that are key to operating a working brewery including fluid flow (principally regarding pumps, pipes and valves), steam, energy balances, heat transfer (conduction, convention and radiation) and refrigeration, and gas laws.
Knowing how to craft beer is only one aspect of running a successful brewery. Study the industry from a business perspective, with a particular emphasis on the San Diego region. Find out how business practices change based on which type of brewing enterprise, as well as how to operate and grow a successful company. Review and assess a wide range of representative business examples including microbreweries, brewpubs, medium-sized and large brewing businesses.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution nearly 300 years ago, the practice of finding the most efficient and effective ways to utilize materials and labor in the production of quality product has developed from an intuitive practice into a precise science. Study the key aspects of brewing operations management including plant management, equipment maintenance management, production control, skilled trade supervision, strategic manufacturing policy, systems analysis, productivity analysis and cost control, and materials planning.
Craft beer production in the United States has expanded from just eight breweries in 1980 to over 2,500 today. Learning how to get the word out about your brewing business is a vital skill in today’s growing craft beer market. Explore the building blocks of effective marketing programs and receive hands-on, practical advice about integrated marketing communications. Course topics include research, audience measurement, product development, positioning, branding, advertising, pricing, distribution, social media, public relations and strategic marketing plan development.
Building a brewing business from the ground up requires strategic and thoughtful planning, as well as industry research and financial knowhow. Learn how to effectively research the industry, build accurate financial projections, and develop a full-fledged business plan for potential investors that are specific to the brewing industry. Developing a business plan with financial projections is the focal point of this course.
The final phase in the Brewing Certificate, the 120-hour internship provides students with the opportunity for hands-on learning and application of recently acquired skills in a variety of breweries for an internship under the direction of a supervisor. This portion of the certificate program may only be fulfilled when all required coursework in the program has been completed. The two elective units may be completed concurrently with the internship course.
2 units required
It has been argued that the discovery of beer and bread are responsible for our ability to advance technology and develop civilization over the last eight thousand years. Explore the social and cultural dimensions of beer, as well as the scientific and technical breakthroughs which have led to the sophisticated 21st century brewery. Follow brewers from ancient Mesopotamia through the Industrial Revolution where brewing, as we knew it, changed from artisan-based endeavor to industrial manufacturing and back.
The craft brewer combines the connoisseurship of the gourmet, the scientific, technical and business sophistication of the tech entrepreneur, and the awareness of the value of a local, sustainable community. Focus on the development of a distinctly refined beer palate, and apply the skills and knowledge learned in the Sensory Evaluation and Beer Styles course to the matching of food and beer. Course focuses on sensory development rather than the analysis of the brewing process.
Aging beer in barrels that have been used previously to age red wines such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot and pinot noir—rather than storing in stainless steel or aluminum kegs—achieves a range of sophisticated and unique effects. Learn how to take artisan brewing to a distinctive level of complexity and refinement. Types of beer to be discussed include—but are not limited to—limbic, saison, barleywine, and blonde ales.
From the 'Apply Now' button, login to your student account, complete the online application, and pay the application fee if applicable.
It is preferable that you create an account before proceeding if you have not already done so.
Candidates are encouraged to apply in the certificate program as early as possible to take advantage of program benefits.
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All students must be at least 21 years of age.
For acceptance to the UC San Diego Extension Professional Certificate in Brewing, and to any of the required courses for the Certificate, students must have adequate preparation in the following areas, as evidenced by official high school and/or college transcripts:
• Pre-calculus: the most advanced mathematics course before a calculus course may be taken.
And relevant preparation in at least two of the following four areas:
• Biological sciences: general biology, microbiology, cell physiology or biochemistry
• Chemistry: general chemistry, organic, inorganic or analytical
• Physics: heat and mechanics or process control
• Engineering: topics in mechanical or chemical engineering only.
Practical brewing experience is a plus, but is not required for acceptance to the program.
Important Note Regarding Prerequisites
All prerequisite courses must have passing grades (C- or better). The prerequisites for the Brewing program will not be waived, regardless of circumstance. There are no exceptions. Applicants who do not meet the program's prerequisite requirements will not be accepted.
Electronic official transcripts can be emailed from the educational institution to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hard copy official transcripts should be mailed (USPS) to:
UC San Diego Extension Brewing Program
c/o Amy Gross
9500 Gilman Dr. MC 0170A
La Jolla, CA 92093-0170
For the delivery services only address (i.e. UPS, FedEx), please email email@example.com.
Applications for Winter 2018 Cohort
Applications are now being accepted for admission in January 2018. To be considered for this cohort, submit the application, fee, and official transcripts by Friday, June 2, 2017, at midnight PST. Applicants for this term will be notified of admission between Monday, June 12, and Friday, June 16, 2017.
If you submitted an application for the fall 2017 cohort, you will be notified of admission between Monday, December 12, and Friday, December 16, 2016. To view the status of your application: please refer to the My Applications section of your My Extension account.
Ballast Point Brewing
Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey
Mike Hess Brewing
Karl Strauss Brewing
UC San Diego
Porterâ€™s Taps and Ribs
McKean Financial Consulting
Second Chance Beer Company
Stone Brewing Co.
There will be a $60 fee upon
acceptance into the program
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