New qualification provides grounding in beer for bar staff

beer from tap

A new qualification has been launched that allows bar staff to gain a sound understanding of the basics of beer via an entry-level online course.

The Beer Steward qualification has been introduced by The Beer Academy, the leading global beer education body, to equip front-of-house staff with practical beer knowledge early in their careers.

The course is made up of eight e-learning modules which candidates can work through at their own pace and at times to suit them.

The modules take candidates on a journey from the origins of beer via the brewing process and beer styles, through to how to serve beer and engage with customers. It includes guidance on serving cask, keg and bottled beers, covering the full range of operators’ beer offerings.

Each module is tested with a set of multiple-choice questions, and candidates are emailed a printable certificate once they have passed all eight. Pubs, bars, restaurants and others wanting to train their staff pay a £35 fee which entitles up to 10 members of staff to take the course.

It also dovetails with The Beer Academy’s Foundation course which is a one-day introduction to beer, including beer styles, brewing process and history and some beer and food matching.

Alex Barlow, The Beer Academy’s director of training, said: “Consumer interest in beer has never been stronger, which means that not only are pubs and bars stocking a more diverse range of beer styles and formats, but also that bar staff are increasingly ‘in at the deep end’, serving customers who already know a lot about beer.

“It was clear from our conversations with operators that they needed a way to get staff up to speed quickly, and e-learning is the solution. While anyone is welcome to take the Beer Steward qualification, it has been developed particularly with bar staff in mind, enabling operators to equip staff with beer knowledge and confidence quickly and conveniently.

“The course also provides a first rung on our ladder of qualifications, enabling staff who develop an interest to move on to our Foundation course and beyond.”

The Beer Academy also offers a two-day Advanced course designed to enhance people’s understanding of beer, distinguish between beer styles and equip them to construct beer lists and beer and food menus.

Its one-day course, How to Judge Beer, helps delegates identify beer styles, spot key flavour faults and judge beers against the appropriate style criteria.

It has also developed the Beer Sommelier accreditation, awarded to individuals with a significant depth of knowledge of beer styles and beer and food matching. Beer Sommelier candidates must have completed Foundation, Advanced and How to Judge Beer courses, and are assessed via written application followed by an interview at the Beer Academy.

Alex added: “We look forward to the day when we celebrate our first Beer Steward going all the way to achieve our globally-respected Beer Sommelier qualification.”

For more information and to book courses go to

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