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10th January 2024

WSET announces first beer course providers

Tuesday 9 January, London WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust), the global leader in drinks education, has today announced the first course providers to offer its Level 1 and Level 2 Awards in Beer.

From February 2024 WSET School London and TheDrinkSchool will be the first to offer in-person and online courses to trade professionals and people interested in expanding their knowledge of beer in the UK. In addition, Molson Coors Beverage Company, multinational drink and brewing company, has been approved to deliver WSET beer courses to internal teams and customers. Two additional schools, W Wine School, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and WineWise from Antwerp, Belgium, will be the first to offer courses in the EMEA region outside the UK.

WSET School London will run Level 1 Award in Beer courses from Friday 14 February and Level 2 Award in Beer courses from Monday 19 February. Now available to book.

 Gary Keller, Wine & Drinks Expertise Director, Molson Coors Beverage Company, said: “Beer has never been more exciting than it is today. It is great to see WSET replicating their courses on wines, spirits and sake with Level 1 and 2 Awards in Beer. Beer education is somewhat behind other segments such as wine and spirits, but WSET’s new courses provide an important step in increasing overall knowledge of this exciting and vibrant drink.

“From a customer point of view, this course will help staff increase their beer expertise and share that knowledge of ingredients, brewing processes, flavours and styles with customers. Drinkers are looking for better experiences across all categories and increased knowledge from courses such as this will help improve drinkers’ ability to appreciate and explore the world of beer.”

Bringing with it over 50 years of educational experience, WSET’s new beer qualifications will set the global standard for tasting and education in the beer category. Beer will be WSET’s fourth qualification subject stream following wine, spirits and sake. The courses have been created by WSET’s Sara Hobday (Head of Research and Curriculum – Beer), and Mirella Amato (Master Cicerone and WSET Senior Business Development Manager for Beer), in collaboration with industry experts.

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. Launching online and in-person, the courses will explore the main types and styles of beer, key methods of production, tasting technique and food pairings. 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.

Rachel Webster, WSET Global APP Development Director, said: “2024 will be an exciting year for WSET as we expand into a new drinks category for the first time in 10 years. Harnessing our experience as leaders in global drinks education, our new Level 1 and 2 Awards in Beer will bring a unique and interactive approach to tasting and learning. We hope they will inspire both trade professionals and enthusiasts by equipping them with essential knowledge and skills.”

Natalya Watson, WSET Business Development Manager, Beer, said: “WSET’s longstanding reputation and global reach will bring beer education to a bigger audience than ever before. There’s long been a gap in the UK market for in-person beer courses that teach tasting alongside theory. These new courses will introduce students to a broad range of beer styles and develop their palates so they can discuss and describe beers with confidence.” 

To celebrate the launch of its new beer qualifications, WSET is running a series of bitesize webinars exploring the world of beer. Taking place from 26 February to 1 March, the following webinars will be available to watch:

  • What is beer made from? Monday 26 February, 3pm GMT – Register here
  • How is beer made? Wednesday 28 February, 7am GMT – Register here
  • How to choose the right beer glass – Thursday 29 February, 4pm GMT – Register here
  • How do you taste beer? Friday 1 March, 11am GMT – Register here

To learn more about WSET’s beer qualifications sign up to the newsletter or visit to find out more.

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For any media enquiries, including interview requests, please contact: Alice James, Communications Manager at WSET: +44(0)7795 697 404 or

Notes to Editors

About the WSET

WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) is the global leader in drinks education. Founded in 1969, and recognised by the awarding body Ofqual, we have awarded nearly one million people with a qualification since our inception. The courses are open to both industry professionals and interested enthusiasts who can take them across four levels, from one-day beginner to expert level diploma. Available in more than 15 languages and in over 70 countries, our qualifications have a strong reputation worldwide as the industry standard for knowledge. In the last academic year (2022/23) 143,000 candidates sat for a WSET qualification. Follow us on X/Twitter @WSETglobal

New beer qualifications:  

WSET Level 1 Award in Beer

This beginner-level beer qualification is ideal for anyone at the very start of their beer journey. Packed with activities and tastings, this course will provide essential foundations in:

  • beer ingredients and production
  • the principles of storage, service and food pairing
  • the characteristics of over 20 key beer styles – from lagers to lambics
  • how to taste and describe beer using WSET’s Systematic Approach to Tasting

Tasting samples

Students will have the opportunity to sample an array of different beer styles including malt-driven, hop-driven, yeast-driven and sour styles.

Study hours and exam  

Students will take part in six hours of guided learning which includes a 30-question multiple choice exam. No private study is required.

This short course will help those working in beer to answer customer queries with confidence and provide helpful recommendations. If you’re learning for fun, you’ll leave knowing how to get the most out of every glass and feeling inspired to explore beer further.

WSET Level 2 Award in Beer

This intermediate level beer qualification is for anyone eager to expand their knowledge of beer, whether a beginner or someone who already has some beer knowledge. It’s a longer and more in-depth course than Level 1 and allows students to cover the essentials in greater detail, including:

  • the main ingredients used in beer production and how they’re processed
  • how production influences the way beer looks, tastes and smells
  • the key principles and processes involved in beer storage, service and food pairing
  • the characteristics of over 60 beer styles, including speciality beers, and how they are produced and labelled
  • how to taste, describe and assess beer, using our Systematic Approach to Tasting

Tasting samples

Students will have the opportunity to sample an array of different beer styles including malt-driven, hop-driven, yeast-driven, mixes fermentation styles and up to two off-flavours.

Study hours and exam 

Students will be required to study for a minimum of 28 hours. This includes 16 hours of guided learning with a course provider, 11 hours of private study and a one-hour exam.

This qualification will enable beer and hospitality professionals to provide valuable guidance on beer selection and service to your colleagues and customers. If you’re a beer enthusiast, you’ll leave knowing exactly what to look for when selecting beers for any occasion.

For any media enquiries, including interview requests, please contact: Alice James, Communications Manager at WSET: +44(0)7795 697 404 or

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