Craft Brewing Certification

The Craft Brewing Certificate program at Madison College consists of three core classes that can be taken as part of the Craft Brewing certificate or a stand-alone class.

It covers the basics of brewing, teaches key scientific information and provides hands-on brewing experience and beer flavor evaluation under the supervision of an experienced brewer. It can also help you prepare for Cicerone and Beer Judge Certification.

You do not need to pursue a certificate to take any of these courses and you do not need to formally enter any program to earn this certificate. You will automatically earn the certificate if you complete these required courses with satisfactory grades within three years. Students must be over 21.

Required Courses

Beer: Brewing and Serving Essentials

This course covers beer and brewing history, ingredients, styles and flavor evaluation with an emphasis placed on the comprehensive knowledge of classic beer styles and flavor attributes. It also teaches serving practices, touches on beer and food pairings and prepares students for the first level of Cicerone Certification.

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Beer: Brewing Science - Microbiology & Fermentation

This course covers the process of fermentation and biology of yeast and other organisms useful in the craft brewing industry. Students will study beer ingredients, adjuncts and malting processes, mashing and worts, hops flavoring and bittering, beer flavor compounds and beer maturation. Coursework also includes key industry sanitation procedures including COP (Clean Out of Place) and CIP (Clean In Place) and how to develop and maintain a sanitation plan.

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Beer: Brewing Practicum - Hands-on Brewing Production and Evaluation

This course covers the process of brewing, racking, kegging, bottling, tasting and evaluating beer. After receiving detailed instruction and demonstrations, students will work in groups to brew beer using home brewing equipment under the supervision of an experienced brewer. The class will then taste and evaluate their efforts. Students must have received a grade of Satisfactory in Brewing Science prior to taking this class and must have successfully completed or be concurrently enrolled in Beer and Serving Essentials.

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Additional Training

The following course is not part of the certificate but provides optional additional training.

Certified Cicerone Tasting Exam Prep

The Certified Cicerone Tasting Exam Prep course will help students successfully prepare for the "Tasting Exam" portion of the Certified Cicerone Exam. Students will improve their palate and expand their sensory evaluation skills, as well as dive deeply into common beer off flavors. This course is ideal for Cicerone Candidates as well as people who work at beer bars, breweries, distributors and home brewers looking to improve their craft.

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The following courses are not part of the certification but are offered as fun and educational enrichment courses.

Beer Appreciation

This introductory course to craft beers covers ingredients, process, styles, finished product and food pairing. The class includes a craft beer and artisan cheese tasting.

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How to Throw a Beer Tasting

Are you looking for a surefire way to entertain your friends or impress your coworkers? Why not throw a beer tasting party! In this course, participants will learn all the elements for hosting a successful and fun beer tasting in the comfort of their own home or office. We will discuss supplies you'll need, beer styles you could feature, and winning food pairings. You'll also go home with example tasting sheets and checklists.

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Intro to Wine

Become familiar with commonly known types of wine, wine terminology, how to buy and store wine, proper glassware, proper serving temperatures, etc, to take the mystery and confusion out of enjoying a glass of wine. The course will also include sampling three white wines and three red wines. Wine sampling discussion will combine wine history, geography, chemistry and fun. The student will develop the knowledge to confidently order and enjoy wine.

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Emerging Wine Regions

Sip a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the coast of New Zealand and savor the ripe peach notes of a South African Muscat. As old world wineries continue their rich traditions of winemaking, exciting new world producers emerge. Ideal grape producing regions such as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are developing sophisticated wines, using traditional techniques, and are often sold at a lower price than more commonly known wine producing countries. Journey with us across the southern hemisphere as we explore the flavors of popular wines such as Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Muscat

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Wine Tasting Fundamentals

Learn basic wine terminology and the proper tasting methods to evaluate wine. The class will finish with a wine tasting.

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Vertical Wine Tasting

This class will taste and discuss multiple wines, known as a "vertical tasting", from a particular winery/label at various price points with a focus on similarities and contrasts between the different wines.

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Sparkling Wine Comparison

If you have ever been curious as to whether that expensive bottle of bubbly is truly worth it, now you can find out! In this class, members will sample French Champagne along with other sparkling white wines such as Italian Proseco and Spanish Cava at different price points. There will definitely be some lively discussions amongst your fellow classmates. So join us for a wine exploration that just might change your mind about cost versus quality when it comes to your wine budget. Some wine tasting experience would be beneficial but not mandatory.

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To register, use the course links above to locate an upcoming section and login to add to cart, or note the 5-digit class number and phone (608) 258-2301, ext 2, for registration assistance.

No application is needed. If you have never taken a class here before, you can facilitate enrollment by creating a student account.