Napa Valley Wine Academy

WSET Level 1 Award in Beer | Online

Sharpen Your Knowledge of Beer

An interactive online course designed to help anyone start talking about beer with confidence.

WSET Level 1 Award in Beer | Online

The beginning of the WSET certification path

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WSET Level 1 Award in Beer | Online


Are you new to beer study? Our WSET Level 1 Award in Beer course will help you begin talking about and tasting beer like a professional. 

For individuals new to the subject, this qualification offers a hands-on introduction to the world of beer. You’ll explore the main styles of beer through sight, smell, and taste to develop an understanding of the key factors affecting flavors and aromas. You will receive a WSET Level 1 Beer certification and lapel pin upon successful completion. 

By the end of the WSET Level 1 beer course, you will: 

  • Gain the basic skills to describe beer accurately 
  • Have a systematic approach to beer-tasting 
  • Know the fundamental principles of beer production and ingredients 

Learn about beer through a 4-week online study program flexible enough to work around your existing commitments. The Level 1 Award in Beer Online covers the same syllabus as the classroom course in a supported and interactive Online Classroom, which allows you to study alongside your peers under the guidance of a dedicated NVWA educator. In addition to the access to the WSET’s online Spirits Course, the NVWA student also receives: 

  • 3 Virtual Webinars covering tasting + theory (taped if you can not attend) 
  • Dedicated instructor throughout the four-week course to answer questions and engage with students as they perform homework through the WSET’s online portal. 
  • Access to instructor and group discussions through the NVWA’s separate Online Wine Academy, where students can access NVWA’s webinar links + taped Webinar sessions. 

For more information and complete details on the course requirements, please download the Specification

About your instructor

Please note that the 45-minute exam is completed online. Email exams (at) napavalleywineacademy (dot) com to special order your Level 1 Beer exam and schedule the exam date.

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Course Dates

Webinar Times (all are recorded and posted to view after live air date)


May 20 – June 16

3 Webinars: Wednesday @ 5pm PST (8pm EST) – May 29, June 5, and 12

Stephen Staples

July 15 – August 11

3 Webinars: Wednesday @ 5pm PST (8pm EST) – July 24, 31, and August 7.

Stephen Staples


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WSET Level 1 Award in Beer Certification

Your Dedicated Instructor

Stephen Staples, DipWSET is a proud Napa Valley Wine Academy WSET Level 4 Diploma grad. He has worked in various positions in the alcohol industry, from managing a homebrew supply shop in Australia, selling cell counting microscopes to wineries in Germany, to working in alcohol retail in the US. He’s also a retired high school teacher. Along the way, he picked up a range of qualifications including a Graduate Certificate in Brewing from Federation University and is one of the first people to be both an Advanced Cicerone and a WSET Diploma holder. When he’s not studying beer, wine and spirits, he is trying to find surf, building igloos or exercising his Australian Shepherd, Huxley.

Prior Knowledge Requirements:

There is no previous knowledge necessary to enroll in this course. The WSET Level 1 Award in Beer is intended for people who have little or no prior knowledge of beer. It is designed to provide a sound but simple introduction to spirits. The qualification will assist those who need a basic familiarity with the main styles of beer, for example, people who work with beer as part of a larger beverage portfolio, in the retail and hospitality sectors, such as beer bars, breweries and restaurants.

Beer Tasting

At the commencement of the course, NVWA will suggest a beer list for the live, interactive webinars. Purchasing beer for the webinars is not mandatory, but it certainly makes the course a lot more fun!

Learning Outcomes:

Successful candidates will be able to know the main ingredients and the main steps used in beer production, know the specified styles of beer and state their key characteristics and know the key principles and practices involved in the storage and service of beer.


To obtain the WSET Level 1 Award Certificate in Beer you will need to successfully pass an exam with 30 multiple-choice questions. - EXAM can be taken online within 12-months of enrolling in the online course.

System Requirements:

As this course is taught online, students will require access to a computer with the following minimum requirements: Firefox 25.0, Safari 6, Chrome 30.0 or other HTML5 compatible with Javascript and cookies enabled. Adobe Reader XI or equivalent. Internet access (broadband recommended).

Napa Valley Wine Academy's WSET Level 1 Award in Beer Certification FAQs

What is the WSET Level 1 Award in Beer offered by the Napa Valley Wine Academy?

The WSET Level 1 Award in Beer is a foundational certification designed to introduce individuals to the basics of beer. Offered by the prestigious Napa Valley Wine Academy, this course guides learners through the essential aspects of beer, including its styles, tasting techniques, and production principles. Successful candidates are awarded a WSET certificate and lapel pin.

How much is the course fee for the WSET Level 1 Award in Beer?

The beer certification course is offered at a cost of $325, which includes comprehensive online learning resources, exam fee, virtual webinars, and expert instruction.

Who should enroll in the WSET Level 1 Award in Beer certification?

This certification is ideal for beginners interested in beer, including enthusiasts, hospitality professionals, or anyone looking to start their journey into beer studies with a solid foundation.

What will I learn from the Napa Valley Wine Academy's WSET beer certification?

Participants will gain essential skills to accurately describe beer, employ a systematic approach to tasting, and understand the key principles behind beer production and its ingredients.

How is the course delivered?

The Napa Valley Wine Academy offers this course online over a period of four weeks. It provides a flexible study schedule that includes interactive online classrooms, virtual webinars on tasting and theory, and dedicated instructor support.

What additional benefits do online students receive?

Students will have access to direct support from a dedicated instructor, and participation in group discussions via the NVWA’s Online Wine Academy platform. There are 3 live webinars, presented by our dedicated instructor. They are recorded if you must miss them.

How is the exam for the WSET Level 1 Award in Beer certification conducted?

The final assessment is a 45-minute online exam.

Do I need previous beer knowledge or experience to take this course?

No, this course is structured for beginners with no prior experience or knowledge in beer, making it a perfect starting point for anyone looking to explore the world of beer.

What do participants receive upon successful completion?

Graduates of the course will receive the official WSET Level 1 Award in Beer certificate and a lapel pin, signifying their knowledge and achievement in the fundamentals of beer.

Introduction to WSET Beer Certification

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is renowned for its wine and spirits education, but its Beer Certification stands as a testament to the growing interest and sophistication in the beer industry. This certification offers a structured approach to learning about beer, from its production to sensory evaluation, catering to professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Benefits of WSET Beer Certification

Career Advancements
Obtaining a WSET Beer Certification can open doors to numerous opportunities within the beverage industry, from brewing and distribution to retail and hospitality. It signifies a commitment to knowledge and excellence.

Knowledge and Skills Enhancement
The program equips candidates with a deep understanding of beer styles, brewing methods, and quality control, enriching their appreciation and ability to make informed choices or recommendations.

Understanding the WSET Beer Certification Levels

Level 1: Introduction to Beer
This foundational level is designed for beginners, focusing on the basics of beer styles and service. Download the WSET Level 1 Award in Beer Certification.

Level 2: Intermediate Beer Education
Building on Level 1, this intermediate course delves deeper into brewing ingredients and processes, exploring a wider range of beer styles.

Eligibility and Enrollment Process

Who Can Enroll?
Anyone with an interest in beer, whether you're stepping into the beverage industry or a passionate hobbyist, can enroll in the WSET Beer Certification program.

Course Structure and Content

Course Overview

The WSET Beer Certification courses are designed to cover product knowledge and beer tasting skills for the beer enthusiast and those working in the trade.

Key Topics Covered
Topics include studies of beer styles, brewing processes, ingredients, storage and service, and food and beer pairing.

Exam Format and Grading Criteria

Examination Details
Each level culminates in an exam, which may include multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, and tasting assessments.

Grading System
Grading is based on a clear criterion, ensuring that certifications reflect a high standard of beer knowledge and sensory evaluation skills.

Preparation Tips for WSET Beer Certification

Study Materials
Leverage official WSET textbooks and study guides, attend live webinars hosted by NVWA and by tasting a wide variety of beers to develop a your palate and expose yourself to different styles.

Comparison with Other Beer Certifications

WSET vs. Cicerone
The Cicerone program is a credentialing program - you do self-study and take an exam. The WSET program is an educational and credentialing organization so they focus on teaching you, then providing a credential. In addition, the WSET focuses more on a global perspective and formal education, whereas Cicerone emphasizes service and practical skills.

The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) is more focused on judging beer competitions, offering a different skill set compared to the broader educational scope of WSET.

Career Opportunities After Certification

Jobs and Roles Available
Certification can lead to careers in brewing, distribution, beverage management, and beer writing or blogging. Click here to see Wine, Spirits and Beer Career Opportunities

Industry Recognition
WSET Beer Certification is globally recognized, adding significant value to your professional profile in the beverage industry.



Knowledge Level



WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust)


Level 1

Region of Study


Course Type

Enthusiast, Professional

Course Format

Online Course


Course Date

May 20 – June 16, 2024, July 15 – August 11, 2024

WSET Educator of the Year 2019


WSET Educator of the Year 2019

Why online & why with us?

Easily Access Guided Webinars + Experts to Answer Your Questions

Beer is complex enough, here’s how we’re making it easy to level-up your knowledge anytime, anywhere and at your own pace:





Cancellations of confirmed in-person course enrollments and workshops are accepted up to 60 days before the start of the course. An administration fee of $50 plus the full cost of the study materials and exam fees will be deducted, and the remainder of the course fee refunded to the payee. Separate WSET exam cancellation/transfer rules apply.
Transfers of a confirmed enrollment to another course are accepted 60 days before the course start date with an administration fee of $50.

Cancellations less than 60 days before the in-person course start date or course no shows forfeit any refund/transfer options unless students can provide medical documentation. If medical documentation is provided, students can be transferred to a later course. No refunds will be applied.

Course Transfers cannot be carried forward to the next academic year (which commenced on January 1).

Students are highly encouraged to purchase separate travel insurance.

You've got this!

Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


3555 Las Vegas Blvd

Las Vegas, NV 89109


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Mariott Santa Ynez

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

April 23, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


555 McMurray Road

Buelton, CA 93427


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Art Hotel Denver

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 5, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Mountain)


1201 Broadway

Denver, CO 80203


You've got this!

Aloft Nashville

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Central)


1719 West End Ave.

Nashville, TN 37203


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Epicurean Hotel

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 19, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Eastern)


1207 S Howard Ave,

Tampa, FL 33606


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Street View of HQ

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

January 22, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


2501 Oak Street

Napa, CA 94559