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31 July 2019

VLB bids farewell to 44 new Certified Brewmasters

On 28 June, VLB Managing Director Dr. Josef Fontaine handed over the certificates to the participants of this year’s Certified Brewmaster Course. The students had previously spent six intensive months in Berlin. A graduation ceremony with lecturers, friends and families rounded off the official farewell.

“This group was really special. From day one, the cohesion was there, everyone pulled together,” emphasized course coordinator Heike Flohr. The 14th course, which is internationally oriented under the name Certified Brewmaster Course, was exceptional in many ways. With 44 participants, it was above average (on average 38 participants); and with a proportion of women of 16 % (average 13 %) relatively many female brewers did their diploma. In 2019, a total of 26 nationalities from four continents were represented. In general, the demand for places in the English-language Certified Brewmaster Course of VLB Berlin is high. The certificate is recognized worldwide and enables many graduates to enter the brewing industry professionally.

Facilitated and satisfied: graduates and lecturers of the 2019 VLB Certified Brewmaster Course

Comprehensive tutorial

From January to June, the students went through a demanding full-time program that took all the steps of brewing beer both theoretically and practically. Several consecutive modules, each completed with interim tests, covered brewery raw materials, individual process steps in the brewing process, packaging and quality assurance. In addition, the participants completed numerous internships in the laboratories and in the study brewery. The research results obtained at the VLB are, of course, included in the lessons. As a result, the course develops with each year and remains up-to-date in terms of content. In the final exams at the beginning of June, the students had to show that they had internalized and mastered the material of the past six months.

Excursions across Germany

As every year, the plan of the Certified Brewmaster Course included two multi-day excursions. In March, the 106th Brewing and Engineering Conference of the VLB was held in Europa-Park Rust. There, the participants were given the opportunity to hear high-calibre lectures on topics of the brewing and beverage industry. As part of the conference, a company inspection took place at the Baden State Brewery Rothaus AG in Grafenhausen in the Black Forest. In addition, the craft brewery Biéres Artisanales Perle in Strasbourg, France, opened its doors to the ambitious brewers.

In mid-June, after the last exam, the Certified Brewmaster Course went on a second trip via Thuringia to Bavaria. Well-known companies from the brewing and beverage industry as well as their suppliers gave the students insights into the daily events:

  • Wiegand Glas, Steinbach am Wald
  • Weyermann Malzfabrik, Bamberg 
  • Krones AG, Neutraubling
  • Privatbrauerei Erdinger Weißbräu, Erding
  • Barth Haas Group/Barth Haas Hops Academy, Hallertau
  • Hopfenanbaubetrieb Stanglmair, Au in der Hallertau/Reichertshausen
  • Private Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH, Kehlheim
  • IREKS GmbH, Kulmbach

The group was warmly received everywhere and entertained with great hospitality. In all companies, employees were available for expert discussions and answered the students’ questions.

Freshly baked brewmasters applaud after the certificates were handed over

Adoption

On 28 June, Dr. Josef Fontaine, Managing Director of VLB, handed over the certificates. Four students finished with a particularly good grade average of 1.4 or better: Martin Dawson, Great Britain, Ana Pettermann, Ambev (Brazil), Izak Ataz, Türk Tuborg (Turkey), and Jesés Cordoba, Cervecera Regional (Venezuela). Dr. Fontaine let the past few months pass revue and thanked all VLB lecturers. He particularly thanked course manager Heike Flohr and the instructor Burghard Meyer for their great commitment and good work. Afterwards, Burghard Meyer addressed a few words to the students and presented one of the participants with a souvenir. On behalf of all, he should receive a jug that will always remind them of those extraordinary months.

After the official part, the group celebrated the successful completion of the course together with friends, families and lecturers. The next Certified Brewmaster Course at VLB will take place from 13 January to 10 July 2020 in Berlin.