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Beer Academy guest blog from Executive Director, Simon Jackson - Educate, Enthuse, Enlighten – Let there be Beer Training


On 30/08/13


This year the Beer Academy will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Established in 2003 by a small group of passionate industry supporters, the Beer Academy sought to emulate the success of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust – an industry body widely and enthusiastically supported by all the key producers, distributors and retailers from the wine and spirits sectors who quickly recognised it and supported it as the Industry Body for trade and consumer education in those sectors.


The Beer Academy mission was (and remains) to Educate, Enlighten and Enthuse all those working in any way within the beer sector – and with a target audience of over 1 million working in in the beer and pub sector then the challenge at the outset was seen to be how all those people could be trained! The Industry was keen to support and many companies and associations came in board as Patrons. In 2007 the Beer Academy became a division of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD).


After 10 years, excellent progress has been made – but the Beer Academy Foundation Course has in the last 5 years been attended by fewer than 1500 people – and 50% of them are consumers. In total the Beer academy now trains over 1000 people per annum through its full range of courses and events – great progress – but this is only a fraction of those that are potential beer ambassadors with the public.


Let there be Beer Training


Now is the time for the sector to grasp the opportunity, take the initiative and seriously engage in training. ‘Let there be education’ is the rallying cry. Let’s support the sector by recognising that we could meet customer and consumer expectations so much more readily if we had a significant cohort of core employees that can talk and communicate knowledgeably about beer – how it is brewed, what are the raw materials, what is the role of the huge range of styles, how do beer and food menus work, what is the right glassware.


Our consumers are in some respects ahead of us – seeking out information and knowledge, but so often faced with a lack of information at the point of sale – be it B2B or at retail.


Beer is the engine of the On Trade – if ‘pub is the hub’ then ‘beer is the heart’ – and it needs to be a beating heart – pro actively proclaiming its role as the focal point of the on trade – supported by passionate, enlightened and knowledgeable people.


There is a beer for every occasion, for everyone and for every eating occasion –let’s hear it for beer and let’s hear it for beer education.
The Beer Academy offers a full educational programme for the Beer and Retail sectors -from the 90 Minute themed beer tasting events , through the one day Foundation Course and up the Beer Academy Beer Sommelier scheme.


For full details visit www.beeracademy.co.uk or contact Dan Cannas at The Beer Academy - Tel 020 7499 1156 E-Mail dan.cannas@ibd.org.uk



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