By Joe Garvey

Old Dominion University's School of Continuing Education is launching a Beer Brewers Certificate course in collaboration with the University of Richmond and the Coastal Virginia Brewery Alliance.

The program, which is set to start March 13, will guide "students through the entire craft brewing business, from procuring high quality ingredients and raw materials through the proper handling, processing, packaging and distribution of the final product."

ODU's program highlights local, sustainable practices by partnering with Tidewater-area suppliers, breweries and distributors.

According to, the state is home to 245 craft breweries, including 33 in Hampton Roads.

"The School of Continuing Education is thrilled to bring this world-class educational opportunity to ODU," said Robert Doherty, director of the school. "Our collaboration with the University of Richmond and Coastal Virginia Brewery Alliance allows us to tap into an established program while tailoring it to meet the needs of Hampton Roads brewers."

The program, which will be conducted annually, will take a year to complete. It consists of 11 modules grouped under three categories - "Introduction to Brewing," "Brew Science and Brewery Processes" and "Brewing as a Business and Practical Experience" - and four field experiences.

Classes will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays in person on the ODU campus and at local breweries, with select sessions offered remotely. There will also be occasional Saturday field experiences. The cost of the program is $2,499 and includes all materials and experiences.

The curriculum for the certificate is approved for Related Technical Instruction (RTI) in a Virginia Registered Apprenticeship. This is the first program in the United States approved as a provider of RTI in support of the craft beer brewing industry.

Applications are being accepted through Feb. 28; the early decision deadline is Jan. 31. For more information or to apply, go to this link.

The Beer Brewer Professional Certificate program originated in 2019 and is managed by the School of Professional & Continuing Studies at the University of Richmond, which has also partnered with Virginia Tech's Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement.

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