Our Graduates Talk

More and more graduates are discovering each year that the American Brewers Guild is the first step toward realizing their goal of becoming successful craft brewers. Brewers across the country have graduated from the program confident that they made the right choice.

Kevin Paquette

Denver, CO

Making the decision to change my career and open my own brewery is a daunting task.  However, the education I received at the American Brewers Guild in the Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering, Brewery In Planning program has had a profound impact on my ability to succeed.  The opportunity to learn from some of the leaders of craft brewing over the course of the program and the depth of information I received is second to none.  Steve and the faculty of the ABG have developed an in-depth curriculum that has given me a base of knowledge that not only has given me the skills necessary to truly craft beer but the confidence I will be able to compete in the crowded Colorado market.  My advice to anyone serious about starting his or her own brewery is take this course.

Tudor A. Montague

Mesa, Arizona

Steve, Christine and the rest of the “Brew Crew”, first of all…wow! The Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering Program has been an invaluable part of my experience in the professional brewing world. You provide us with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the lecture series which is then greatly augmented during the last week spent at the brewery itself. The last week really brought together all of the concepts and ideas that were presented throughout the lecture series, and I had many “ah-ha!” moments during this time. Lastly, the instructors that you bring in during the residency week were just as passionate in teaching and sharing their craft as those of us who attended your course. THANK YOU for providing us with this opportunity!

Sean Harris


Broken Drum Brewery and Wood Grill, San Rafael, CA

After a number of years working in scientific research I began looking in to an alternative career choice, one that would allow me to use more creativity and eventually get me back home to New Zealand. As an inexperienced homebrewer I discovered the ABG website and after some thought enrolled in the Craftbrewers Apprenticeship Program 3 days before the course began, rather late!

The correspondence format allowed the material to fit in to a flexible schedule, but with many interesting magazine and scientific articles as well as the brewing text books, I found the information was there to pursue to the level and time commitment I desired. The course struck a good balance of the technical biochemistry and engineering concepts with the practical material and provided a thorough brewing education. I felt well equipped to move in to a brewing position with the knowledge I had gained. The hands-on experience provided by the internship served to reinforce that.

An excellent experience with knowledgeable, friendly and helpful faculty and staff. A must-do course for those serious about pursuing a craftbrewing career.

Chris Goehe

General Manager

Broken Drum Brewery and Wood Grill, San Rafael, CA

I enrolled in ABG after interviewing with several brewers who had taken the course and had great praise for Steve’s class. Living in the Bay Area I was glad to notice many of the head brewers are ABG graduates.

The online course was a perfect way to study while keeping my day job and I feel the longer course duration gave me more time to really review the materials more than once.

I was lucky to be hired by Arne Johnson at Marin Brewing Company, (who would later be known as Arne Brau Kenobi, my Jedi beer master), just a few weeks into the course. I had chosen MBC for my apprenticeship brewery, and Arne needed some help doing cellar work and running the bottling line so I was actually employed there during my ABG session. After completing the course and my apprenticeship, I worked a couple of nights a week on the bottling line and eventually started brewing and filtering one day a week at MBC. I also moved from the brewery onto the floor as a food server and then shift manager at both MBC and it’s sister company Moylan’s. I am now the general manager of Broken Drum Brewery and Wood Grill in San Rafael. I am lucky to have a recent graduate as our new head brewer. We have already joined forces creating several new recipes.

The “live” week of the course was the most fun; finally putting faces to the chat text and hanging out with a bunch of beer geeks in search of knowledge and the perfect pint. I will never forget the face of Chris Carter, who was coming from 3.2 Utah, as he sipped his first Guinness or Steve Parkes being set loose at the taps during our private tour of Anchor Steam Brewery. (Both pics are on the guild’s alumni site of 2000 fusty class photos.)

The pictures are of my last brew at MBC (Mt. Tam pale) and cleaning the fermenter.

Thanks and Cheers ABG!

Stephen Magill

Montpelier, VT

Tomorrow morning (Monday), I start my five-week apprenticeship at the Vermont Pub and Brewery.  This is the final part of my class, the Craft Brewers’ Apprenticeship Program.  The first part was five months of academic work in brewing science and engineering, through distance learning.  Each week I had five to eight hours of recorded lectures on DVD that I had to watch, followed by some self-graded homework.  There were also two exams, each with a section on brewing and a section on engineering.
The next part of the class was the residential week in Middlebury, where the school (the American Brewers’ Guild) is based.  Affectionately called “Beer Camp” by me, this was hosted by Drop In Brewing, which is the headquarters of the Guild.  The residential week had the students working in the brewery at brewing beer, filtering beer, doing work in the brewery lab, and learning how to evaluate beer for faults.  The last day of the residential week started with our final exam, and finished with a graduation ceremony.  The whole week was a fun learning experience spent with other aspiring brewers and some inspiring teachers.

Chris Milum


[Chris wrote this to a perspective student] Mark, The ABG greatly enhanced my credibility and expanded my career options in the fields of brewing and brewing science. As a recent graduate, I have had a successful and enjoyable beginning to my career, which clearly would not have been possible without my studies with the ABG.

The added value of a diploma from the American Brewers Guild is the prestige of a diploma from the nation’s best brewing schools. The ABG is highly regarded for its commitment to excellence in education.

The classes are set up to offer you flexibility with learning with part of the course offered as correspondence and part as on campus studies along with an apprenticeship. You also have the opportunities to interact with other ABG students and the professors. The small, personalized environment allows everyone to be available almost full time and attentive to your individual needs.

Without hesitation I suggest that you contact the ABG staff for more information regarding the courses available and how they can work for you.

Regards, Chris