Back to school? Na. Well… kind of.



For as long as I can remember, we’ve been dreaming about opening a brewery to share the amazing craft with others. Unfortunately, sharing such happiness, even on a small scale, can amount to thousands of dollars; a huge investment that neither one of us has much experience in. If things go awry, finances could get scary. Even ugly. So, instead of taking a huge financial leap, we’ve discovered another option: online business classes specifically for craft brewing.


cowfish brews in Lander, WY.

Portland State School of Extended Studies is to blame for this awesome opportunity. They offer a Business of Craft Brewing Certificate option for folks like us, who love beer and have fuzzy plans to make it a career. Just to be sure this is an investment we want to invest in, we registered E for the first online class: Basic Business for Craft Beverages.


celebrating an awesome climbing day with Sierra Nevada.

I am psyched and the class sounds awesome –

“This non-credit course provides an overview of the craft brewery business – from grower to glass. You will be introduced to the various players and processes that go into making and selling craft beer, from growing grains and hops to malting, brewing, distribution, and retail environments. You’ll also cover the different strategies and associated costs of creating a craft beer along with the different types of business models for selling craft beverage products. Business models for Distilleries and Alcoholic Cider facilities will be included.”

What’s Covered:

  • An overview of the craft brewing industry, competitive dynamics, trends, and opportunities
  • The process of getting from the field to the end consumer and the associated costs
  • The regulatory environment in specific regions, associated taxes and licenses, and constraints on the different business models
  • Strategies for differentiating product
  • Creation a basic business plan for a new or existing business

The certificate program lasts about five months. There is an online class offered each month and an optional beer immersion course in Portland. For the immersion portion of the program, students will get to travel from brewery to brewery, sample some frosty beverages, and listen to various speakers on their love for the craft brewery industry. Cool, right!?


beers at Powerhouse. Hailey, ID.

As we continue to brew our own beer, we will get to explore our business options without burying ourselves in loans and other financial obligations. What a deal!



3 thoughts on “The Business of Craft Brewing

    1. yessss! It will be fun to share notes and discuss beer business while sipping a tasty brew. Ideas and brainstorming over a glass of Vision Quest must happen at Nighthawk over Memorial weekend!

  1. What a wonderful idea! Seriously! Way to work it through and find this awesome option 🙂 If nothing else, you’ll learn some new stuff and who doesn’t love learning new stuff!? Have fun, E!

Comments are closed.