man pulling a beer tap

Master Brewers Certificate Program

Program at a Glance

  • 15 weeks
  • March-June
  • $16,000
  • Eligible for VA Benefits

Serious Programs for Serious Brewers

The Master Brewers Certificate Program is a unique, 15-week program that provides an in-depth understanding of brewing science and brewery engineering and prepares students to enter the brewing industry with the potential to rise to the highest levels of leadership within it. Major topics covered in brewing science include malting, mashing, brewing, fermentation and finishing, while the brewery engineering subject matter focuses on fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, solid-liquid separation and more. Students explore these two fields through professional-level equivalents of UC Davis degree-program courses and expand their brewing knowledge through assigned reading and writing exercises and visits to breweries in Northern California. 

What You’ll Learn

Classroom lectures are designed to provide you with an understanding of:

  • Grain handling, malting, malt analysis and their effects in brewing
  • Brewhouse processes and the control of wort quality
  • Yeast and fermentation processes and their effects on beer quality
  • Finishing beer, sterilization of beer and packaging technology
  • Flow of fluids in pipes and through pumps in a brewery setting
  • Heat transfer and the effects of insulation and fouling on efficiency
  • Theory and practice of carbonation, including mixed gas technology
  • Theory and practice of refrigeration in the brewery

How You’ll Benefit

Become a knowledgeable, thoughtful, accomplished and professional practical brewer who is eagerly sought by employers in today’s brewing industry. Upon completion of the UC Davis Master Brewers Program, you will be prepared to:

  • Evaluate and select raw materials for specific brewing objectives and product qualities. Efficiently and safely operate the brewhouse for wort production. Manage yeast and fermentation to meet product objectives, and finish and package the product to contemporary standards of excellence. Conduct a quality assurance program suited to the brewery and product mix.
  • Design a brewery unit, or offer educated input to a brewery design team. Wisely select, or help to select, equipment from among several choices. Oversee installation of it to contemporary standards. Make logical and useful evaluations of processes used in a brewery and select appropriate options.
  • Undertake a wide variety of problem solving tasks related to product quality, process efficiency or plant design.


  • The craft brewing industry contributed $79.1 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018, more than 550,000 jobs (Brewers Association)
  • Retail sales of craft beer rose 7% in 2018 (Brewers Association)

"With a strong presence across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, craft breweries are a vibrant and flourishing economic force at the local, state and national level. As consumers continue to demand a wide range of high-quality, full-flavored beers, small and independent craft brewers are meeting this growing demand with innovative offerings, creating high levels of economic value in the process." Bart Watson, Brewers Association Chief Economist

Prerequisites: While a degree is not required for acceptance to this program, college-level work in the subject areas listed below is required for success in the program. All minimum prerequisites must be completed in advance of applying. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission. You must be able to provide transcripts documenting successful completion (grade C or better) of the following requirements:

(a) Mathematics (pre-calculus)


(b) Two of the subject areas listed below:

  • Biological sciences: microbiology, cell physiology or biochemistry (general biology is not sufficient)
  • Chemistry: general, organic, inorganic or analytical
  • Physics: heat and mechanics or process control
  • Engineering: topics in mechanical or chemical engineering

Practical brewing experience is a plus, but is not required for entrance to the program.

Those who cannot document successful completion of the minimum academic prerequisites will not be admitted to the program. Such students should prepare at least one year before entering the Master Brewers Certificate Program by taking appropriate courses at a local college.

Learn more about the minimum academic prerequisites, and check out our frequently asked questions.

Grade Policy: 


  • You must complete each certificate program course with a grade of "C" or better.
  • "C-" is not a passing grade.

March 10, 2025 - June 20, 2025
The Master Brewers Certificate Program is a full-time program and meets Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the duration of 15 weeks. 

Class is held in a new, state-of-the-art classroom facility located at Sudwerk Brewing Company in Davis, Calif. While this world-class microbrewery is not a formal teaching facility, it does allow students the opportunity to observe brewing and packaging operations on Sudwerk’s 65-barrel Steinecker system as part of the curriculum.

  • Fees: $16,000
    • The fee includes all texts and course materials. A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $1,000 and a non-refundable, non-transferable $125 certificate fee are due at the time of acceptance to the program. The balance is due prior to the first day of the program. The fee does not include room and board. This program has been approved for V.A. educational benefits.*
  • Certificate registration fee: $125 (one time, non-refundable)
    • Non-refundable, non-transferable $125 certificate fee is due at the time of acceptance to the program.
  • Withdrawal/Refund: If a request for withdrawal is received within the first seven days of the course and all course materials are returned, a refund will be granted for tuition fees paid beyond the non-refundable, non-transferable $1,125 deposit. No refunds will be granted after the seventh class day.

For information about financing your education, please click here.

Accepted applicants are able to defer their acceptance for a maximum of one year.  The deferral request must be submitted in writing 45 days prior to the start of the program and the non-refundable deposit of $1,125 must be submitted at the time of deferral.

All fees are subject to change.

*Continuing and Professional Education programs and courses are not included in the CalVet college fee waiver benefits to dependents of disabled or deceased veterans who are enrolled in a California public college.

Ready to master the art and science of brewing?

Complete the program application  

  • Applications are reviewed and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Class size is limited. Early application submission is encouraged.
  • Complete application packages must include a completed application form, transcripts supporting the academic prerequisites, a résumé listing any practical experience in brewing or related fields and the application fee of $45.

Questions? We’re here to help.

Check out our Free Career Resources. Our students have free access to tools for career planning, resume writing, interview practice and more. 

Contact our Enrollment Coach, Kristy Craig, if you would like to schedule a no-cost appointment. She can speak with you about our program, answer your questions and help ensure it’s the right fit for your goals. Schedule your 30-minute conversation with Kristy.

You can also email us or call (530) 757-8777.

Alumni Video

Student Reviews

Logan Jager, Western Flyer Brewing

“The Master Brewers program exposes you to world-class subject matter experts that demystify complex topics and equip you with the analytical tools to work through technical challenges that you might face on the job.”