Dave Mistich Published

WVU Launches Craft Beer Certificate Program


West Virginia’s first ever Craft Beer Week may not kick off until Saturday, but those interested in the state’s burgeoning industry already have a reason to celebrate. 

West Virginia University has announced a craft beer certificate program aimed to help beer lovers expand their knowledge of the brewing process and understand the business.

The University’s Department of Continuing and Professional Education will offer hands on brewing experience in Morgantown combined with field trips to those interested in launching a career in the craft beer industry.

Program coordinator Sherrilynn Kuehn said the program came about for a variety of reasons.

“There’s a lot of interest in craft beer now. It’s been in legislation. It’s growing in popularity. We’re always looking for programming that is new and hot topic right now and of interest to our audience,” said Kuehn.

"Not all craft beers are created equal."-WVU Craft Beer Instructor Bryce Capodieci

 Longtime Morgantown home brewers Bryce Capodieci and Brett Clark will serve as instructors for program.  Tuesday evening courses will focus on the history of brewing and the process, evaluating varieties and formulating recipes, as well as the business side of the industry.

“These three courses are only the beginning. We have plans to offer other courses and seminars that focus more on specific topics,” said Capodieci.

“We are the only institution in West Virginia offering these courses. It is exciting to see careers open in West Virginia that involve the craft beer industry,” he added.

Among other important aspects of craft beer, Capodieci emphasized the importance of tasting and distinguishing off-flavors in beer, noting that “not all craft beers are created equal.”

“It is very important to learn the proper techniques in tasting and evaluating craft beer,” he explained.

“First, by understanding the components of each beer, you can then fully appreciate the aroma; flavor, appearance and mouth feel in each beer. Second, with a little bit of knowledge and practice, you can determine off-flavors in those beers. Many people think that because a beer is craft beer, it has to be good.”

Credit West Virginia University Continuing and Professional Education

Introduction to Craft Beer (September 15 to October 20, 2015): 

  • Beer Styles and History
  • Brewing Ingredients
  • Brewing Process
  • Brewing Methods and Mashing Techniques
  • Serving Beer

Advanced Craft Beer Appreciation (November 3 to December 15, 2015): 

  • Sensory Beer Evaluation per BJCP Style Guidelines
  • Off-Flavors
  • Draft Systems
  • Recipe Formulation

Going Professional (January 12 to February 16, 2016):

  • Components of a Brewery
  • Federal and State Requirements
  • Design Your Brewery
  • Quality Control and Safety
  • Raw Materials
  • Business Plan/Financial Projections

The three-course program launches September 15.  Registration is limited to 20 students per course. Students must be 21 years old to register.