UNC Charlotte is attracting homebrewers from all over the country with a new program.

This Spring, Continuing Education is offering courses that will teach students the ins and outs of the craft beer business.

The craft beer industry is on the rise. The amount of microbreweries in the country has doubled in the last five years. Exponential growth has occured in North Carolina where over 203 breweries and brewpubs are operating and 50 more plan to open. While many have been profitable, each opening leads to more competition. This new program claims that it will provide entrepreneurs the training they need to be successful in the craft beer buisness.

“I think the idea was to try to take advantage of the fact that there’s this growing culture in Charlotte with microbrews and some people that want to get involved might not know enough,” said Craig Depken II, a member on the program’s advisory board and professor in the Belk College of Business.

The program consists of four course which can be taken individually or all together to earn the Craft Beer Business Essentials Certificate.

The course “Legal Bootcamp for Craft Beer Business” focuses on the laws and regulations for business start-ups and alcoholic beverage sales. Students learn about management in “Brewery Management Fundamentals.” “Identity Development and Marketing Strategies” teaches the entrepreneurs how to brand their beer. “Creating and Financing Your Business Plan” helps the students develop business plans specific to craft beer.

Brewers in the Charlotte area will be involved with the program. On the advisory board are people such as CEO of Wooden Robot Brewery Josh Patton and Owner of NoDa Brewing Chad Henderson.

“It’s neat to see their input to the whole process,” Depken said.

The certificate can be earned in seven weeks. The total price is $1,683.

Continuing Education is outside of UNC Charlotte’s degree system and does not require acceptance to the university.

Other certificates offered by Continuing Education include forensic accounting, fire and rescue management, and meeting and event planning.

Alexandria Sands is the Niner Times' community editor. She is a senior majoring in Communication Studies with a double minor in Journalism and English. Her work has been published in The Charlotte Business Journal, Creative Loafing, The Gaston Gazette, The Shelby Star and The State Port Pilot. When she's not in the newsroom, you can catch her reading a book on Oak Island. Reach her at community@ninertimes.com or @alexsands_.