Virtual Beer School: Level 1

Virtual Beer School: Level 1

A 9-session interactive online prep course for the Certified Beer Server exam. New course dates to be announced soon!


Virtual Beer School gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about beer and show what they know

through interactive online courses led by
Beer Sommelier & Advanced Cicerone® Natalya Watson.


Looking to begin your beer education journey?

Start here!

Virtual Beer School: Level 1 helps prepare attendees for the Cicerone Certification Program’s Certified Beer Server exam.

The exam – and therefore the course – covers the fundamentals of beer flavour and evaluation, beer ingredients, beer styles, and how to best store and serve beer.

Find out more about the Certified Beer Server certification in the FAQs below.

(Please note: The cost of the exam is not included in the cost of the course. Virtual Beer School is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone Certification Program.)

New course dates to be announced soon!

To be the first to hear, email natalya@beerwithnat.com.

Course overview

What:

Join Beer Sommelier & Advanced Cicerone® Natalya Watson for 9 weekly interactive “classroom-style” online sessions covering different subject areas from the Certified Beer Server exam syllabus.

Each session will include a lesson led by Natalya, followed by 5 practice questions to test your understanding, then time for questions and discussion with all attendees.

After 9 sessions, attendees will be prepared to take the Certified Beer Server exam, if interested.

(Attendees are welcome to sign up for Virtual Beer School to build up their beer knowledge without an interest in taking the Certified Beer Server exam.)

When:

Thursday evenings in September, October & early November 2022 from 7 – 9pm BST (UK time).

Course dates include September 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th; October 13th, 20th, 27th and November 3rd. (Please note: there is no session on October 6th.)

Where:

Online via Zoom. All attendees must register to receive the Zoom link for each weekly live session.

How:

The course costs £80 and can be paid for in full upfront or in two monthly payments of £40, if preferred.

Course reviews

“Taking part in Virtual Beer School was a fantastic experience. Nat is extremely knowledgeable and presents information in a simple and easy to digest way. The course is extremely engaging and I found that I learned a lot more than I thought I would. I feel ready to take the Cicerone CBS exam!” – Virtual Beer School attendee, December 2020

“Fantastic course, Nat has such a vast knowledge about beer styles, their history and serving. I learnt so much and was introduced to beer styles that I had never heard of before. All with interesting facts and history. Nat made it really friendly and easy to interact with fellow beer qeeks. I now have so much more knowledge that I can share with my friends. I can’t recommend the course enough, you won’t be disappointed.” – Virtual Beer School attendee, March 2021

“I would recommend Nat’s course to anyone looking to learn about beer! I found the course gave me all the tools I needed to prepare me for the Level 1 exam and I really enjoyed the social aspect of the learning style, it’s been wonderful to meet like minded people. Nat’s teaching style is clear, informative and well broken down and she always recaps everything. Very much enjoyed the experience!” – Virtual Beer School attendee, June 2021

Find more course reviews here.

Sign up [Check back soon!]

Course sign ups will re-open as soon as the new dates are announced. Please check back soon.

To be the first to hear, email natalya@beerwithnat.com.

Want an idea of Nat’s teaching style?

Check out her Youtube channel and her beer education website, Discovering.Beer.

FAQs

What’s a Certified Beer Server?

According to the Cicerone Certification Program – the certification body for beer professionals – Certified Beer Server is the “first-level certification for those who work with beer”.

The Certified Beer Server exam is an opportunity to “demonstrate your mastery of the fundamentals of beer service, styles and flavour.”  The exam involves 60 multiple choice questions and can be taken online from anywhere in the world for $69.

(Please note: The cost of the exam is not included in the cost of the course. Virtual Beer School is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone Certification Program.)

What does the Certified Beer Server exam cover?

The exam covers the fundamentals of beer flavour and evaluation, beer ingredients, beer styles, and how to best store and serve beer.

Virtual Beer School uses the International Syllabus from the Cicerone Certification Program for reference. All topics will be covered, however, they will not be covered in the order of the syllabus.

Find a weekly breakdown of the topics to be covered in Virtual Beer School here.

Who is this course for?

This course is open to everyone from around the world at any level of beer knowledge.

Attendees are welcome to sign up for Virtual Beer School to build up their beer knowledge without an interest in taking the Certified Beer Server exam.

Why should I take this course?

While all certifications from the Cicerone Certification Program can be achieved through self-study, Virtual Beer School helps to structure your learning and helps to make the learning process much more fun.

Not only do you become a part of a vibrant community of fellow beer lovers from around the world all working towards the same goal, the course helps you break the syllabus down into manageable chunks, carve out time each week for your studies, and should you need clarification on any of the content, you can immediately ask Natalya for help during the weekly live sessions. If you need any more convincing, check out the course reviews from past students here.

Who will lead the course?

Virtual Beer School will be led by Natalya Watson, an award-winning beer educator, Beer Sommelier and Advanced Cicerone®.

During lockdown in 2020, Natalya began hosting free weekly online educational sessions on a variety of beer-themed topics, crowd-sourced from attendees.

The idea for Virtual Beer School then developed from there as a more formal, paid-for offering to help prepare interested attendees for the Certified Beer Sever exam so they could have an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of beer. Now, nearly 300 students have taken Natalya’s courses.

Find out more about Natalya and what inspired her to set up Virtual Beer School here.

How many people can attend the course?

Course attendance will be capped at 60 people, in order to better facilitate discussion.

How interactive is the course?

Very – and this is something that many past students have encouraged Natalya to emphasise as they’re really pleasantly surprised by it!

During the lesson, attendees are welcome to interact with each other via the chat. Then during the questions and discussion portion of the evening, participation is welcome over audio, video or via the chat (whichever attendees are most comfortable with). Not only does this give you an opportunity to interact with Natalya and get your questions answered during live, you can also interact with and learn from your fellow classmates during this time, too. You’ll also have access to an online forum to keep up the conversation outside of class.

Do we do any tastings during the course?

As the Certified Beer Server exam is taken online there is no tasting component (meaning you will not be asked to taste a beer and identify its flavours or style), so we don’t necessarily need to do any tasting practice as part of Virtual Beer School.

That said though, tasting different beers can really help bring their flavours to life in a much more impactful way than simply reading about them. So for certain sessions – primarily when we’re discussing regional beer styles (Sessions 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8) – Natalya will recommend a few beer styles to have handy to compare and contrast, but again, this isn’t a requirement.

Once you sign up for the course, you’ll receive a list of the recommended beer styles to taste, along with some suggested commercial examples of each, but you’re more than welcome to source your beers from whichever brewery you prefer.

What happens if I miss a week?

The audio from each weekly session will be recorded and shared with you, along with the slides shown. You can also contact Natalya directly with any questions on the topic you missed.

How long will I have access to the course materials for?

All attendees will have access to the course materials for 3 months from the start of their course.

What if I’ve already passed the Certified Beer Server exam?

If you’re ready to start preparing for the next level, Certified Cicerone®, join Natalya for Virtual Beer School: Level 2! Following a similar format, VBS: Level 2 is a 12-session interactive online prep course for the written portion of the Certified Cicerone® exam.

For more information, head to the Level 2 course page here.

Still have a question?

Contact Natalya directly on natalya@beerwithnat.com and she’ll be happy to help.

Virtual Beer School gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about beer and show what they know.

Online beer education brought to you by Natalya Watson, award-winning beer educator, Beer Sommelier & Advanced Cicerone®.

Virtual Beer School is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone Certification Program.