4 Reasons Why Students Choose UC Davis Master Brewers Certificate Program

master brewer Ronnie Fink in a brewery with beer
Master Brewers Certificate Program alumnus, Ronnie Fink, director of brewing operations, Modern Brewery, Saint Louis, Mo.

Engineer, business administrator, ecology major, software developer, attorney, beer enthusiast, avid homebrewer—our alumni come from all walks of life. But like you, they all share a passion for brewing. 

If you’re considering a career in the brewing industry, UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Master Brewers Certificate Program can help you get there. See what some of our graduates had to say about their experience in the program.

1. UC Davis is an industry-recognized leader in brewing education

“I was attracted to the notoriety of the program and how in-depth UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s program is compared to others,” said Benjamin Mills, owner and head brewer of Fossil Cove Brewery in Fayetteville, Arkansas. “The notoriety and esteem after completing the program really gives you a leg up on other applicants when you’re applying for jobs.”

master brewers graduate Kevin Wright looking in kettle
Kevin Wright, founder and brewmaster, Third Space Brewing, Milwaukee, Wis.

Aaron Barth, head brewer of Big Storm Brewery in Odessa, Florida agreed. “I would recommend the Master Brewers Certificate Program over any of the other programs. It definitely helped me get jobs. People who know the program know the kind of education it provides.” 

“After talking to people about brewing schools, I found that UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education was really top-notch. No matter what kind of experience you already have, there’s stuff to be taken from the Master Brewers Certificate Program,” said Ronnie Fink, director of brewing operations at Modern Brewery in Saint Louis, Missouri. “This program gives you a step above anyone else when looking for jobs—seeing it on your résumé is very impressive to interviewers.”

“UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education has the best program in terms of background knowledge and the caliber of professors teaching it,” added Kevin Wright, founder and brewmaster at Third Space Brewing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “I owe where I am to the program. It really helped get me on a career path—not just a job—a lifelong brewing career.” 

2. You learn the science behind the art of brewing

“In this industry, there are a lot of people who understand what they’re doing but not why they’re doing it. Because of this program, I’m able to work in a brewery, and if something goes wrong, I understand the science behind it and can use that knowledge to correct it,” explained Barth. 

Master Brewers graduate Crystal Fraley
Crystal Fraley, QA/QC Manager at Port City Brewing in Alexandria, Virginia

“I gained a solid understanding of the principles of brewing science and insight into how interrelated everything is in brewing,” said Wright. “The program did a great job of connecting the dots and showing how a change in one part of the process can affect multiple things down the line. It will prepare anyone who wants to take on any kind of leadership and management position in the industry.” 

“The most valuable thing I got out of the program was the brewing science. You can teach anyone to brew, but if you understand the science behind it, it helps everything come together more quickly,” added Fink.

3. The faculty are the best in the business

“The instructors were the biggest bonus in the whole program. You’re learning about brewing and the science behind it from some of the most well-known people in the industry,” said Crystal Fraley, QA/QC Manager at Port City Brewing in Alexandria, Virginia.  

“The best thing about the faculty was the knowledge and experience they have. Anybody can teach you out of a book, but they have the hands-on experience to go with it,” said Fink.

“All the instructors are experts in their own fields—not just from an academic perspective
but also from their career experience. They are all superstars in the industry,” said brewer Aaron Schleifer.

“I chose this program because of its connection to an academic university and the reputation of the faculty as internationally renowned brewing scientists. It’s the best program in terms of background knowledge and the caliber of professors teaching it,” said Wright.

4. You tap into an invaluable network of industry connections 

“I have so many connections with different breweries now. The people I met through the program are like a whole community in the brewing industry. Going to UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education really brings you into the brewing community, introduces you around and helps you settle in,” said Fraley.  

“Networking has been valuable—I’m still in contact with a lot of people from my class. I’ve also been able to use the program as a resource to get in touch with other brewing professionals that I wouldn’t otherwise have had contact with,” said Wright.

“The post-program support is very strong. We’re constantly given updates of open
positions, as well as events in the industry,” explained Schleifer. “Another big benefit is the résumé booklet that UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education sends out to all the breweries. I got several contacts from breweries after that went out,” added Fraley.

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