Brewing, Distilling & Fermentation Science

Trocaire’s new online instructor led modular Brewing/Distilling program is designed to provide beer lovers and students with the necessary education and skills to better appreciate all things beer and/or enter into various employment opportunities within the industry. Utilizing about 100 hours of instructor-led class time and about 100 hours of internship experience, the program will prepare participants for enjoyment or employment in the craft beverage industry including: brewing, microbrewing, brewpub and distilling industries. Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to meet with industry experts and learn by brewing and tasting beer. This new innovative online program allows students to taste and brew at home while engaging classmates, instructors, and industry professionals in real time during virtual class time. The program features five modules including an internship.

NEW Online, Instructor-led Modular Format!

Dates to be Announced

Brewing, Distilling, and Fermentation Science Modular Program Outline, Fees & Costs

Sensory Evaluation of Beer Module (8 weeks)

Students will develop sensory skills and learn terminology typically used in the alcohol beverage industry.  In this module, students will: develop sensory skills to accurately and concisely describe beer characteristics, appreciate different beer styles and their origins, identify off-flavors and their causes, pair beer with foods, and properly store and serve beer.  This module is geared toward those who desire further appreciation of beer flavors and the brewing process. Students who successfully complete this module will be equipped with the knowledge for the first two levels of the Cicerone Certification Program®. Tasting materials are coordinated and available for purchase by student at a local vendor.

Introduction to Brewing Module (10 weeks)

This module provides a foundation for students. Topics include historical aspects of the industries of brewing and distilling along with ingredients, equipment and process requirements involved in brewing and distilling.  Basic course on brewing ingredients, processes, and analyses. Designed to introduce students to proper methods for brewing beer. To understand brewing, one must understand the integration of ingredients and processes and how they affect beer fermentation and flavor. This module will focus on brewing using professional-level equipment and processes in order to familiarize students with production brewing. Other topics to be addressed are quality control, safety, cleaning, and sanitation. Aspects of brewing history will be presented as well. Students must have the required home brewing equipment as outlined. An equipment bundle and materials are available for purchase at a local vendor.

Science of Brewing Module (10 weeks)

This module will include in-depth lessons on yeast and bacteria microbiology as well as water and beer chemistry. Students will learn to evaluate microbes on media and microscopically, optimize chemical composition of wort and beer, and control microbial activity in ‘clean’ and sour beers. Students will gain hands-on experience with aseptic technique, chemical analysis of beer bitterness, and – of module – brewing on a professional-grade brewing and fermentation system. No prior microbiology or chemistry education is necessary. Lab sessions are live online.

Workshops (offered concurrently with modules 1-3)

TIPS-is the global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol. TIPS is a skills-based training program designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and drunk driving (3 hours).

ServSafe-Learn basic food safety practices for preparing and serving food. Earn your food handler certificate from the foodservice experts, the National Restaurant Association (8 hours).

Level 1 Cicerone-Great beer service starts with fundamentals: beer, clean glassware, a proper pour, and beer that hasn’t been ruined by improper handling. And in today’s beer world, every dialog between server and guest begins with talk of beer styles and flavors. The Cicerone Certified Beer Server exam assesses these skills to recognize those individuals who are prepared to serve today’s wide range of beers (two 3.5 hour sessions).


Brewing students who have completed all coursework (or are in progress) in the program are eligible to participate in this 100 hour internship experience. Internships will be with one of WNY’s local breweries/distilleries. The internship experience will be geared toward individual student goals and supervised by the Brewing, Distilling and Fermentation Science Program Director. Internship hours are determined by the Program Director in coordination with local breweries and their availability.

Program Fees and Costs

The Trocaire Brewing, Distilling, and Fermentation Science online program is designed to provide a flexible and affordable learning pathway. The core program fee is $1,200 for all five modules. Students are responsible for additional program costs including sensory tasting materials, books, home brewing equipment, and brewing materials.

Program Fee: $1,200

Estimated Additional Program Costs:
Books/certification exams: $250
Sensory/tasting materials: $250
Home brewing equipment: $250

*Trocaire has made arrangements with local vendors to supply required materials and equipment should students not be able to source required materials on their own. All materials subject to approval by the Brewing, Distillation & Fermentation Program Director.

Upcoming Mini Workshops

Level 1 Cicerone
Tips On Premise

Brewing in WNY

According to Visit Buffalo Niagara: “Buffalo’s rich industrial past is soaked in beer. In 1919, on the eve of Prohibition, Buffalo was home to twenty-nine breweries and featured more than 8,000 drinking establishments. But it wasn’t until the end of the 20th century that brewing returned to the city with the opening of Flying Bison Brewing Company and Pearl Street Grill & Brewery.”

The Buffalo area now has 31 craft breweries and six distilleries, including Community Beer Works, Hamburg Brewing Company, Resurgence Brewing Company, Big Ditch Brewing, Rusty Nickel Brewing, 42 North Brewing, Black Squirrel Distillery and Tommyrotter Distillery among many others.

Work towards a certificate,  take a class or two, or experience a related event or workshop for fun. Buffalo is all about brewing and Trocaire College has the education, training and events to help you learn more about this growing industry.


Brewing, Distillation & Fermentation Program Director

Erik Coleman