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Old 10-17-2011, 04:29 PM   #11
ChefJoeR
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BGates14:

I am in the final week of the 3 week online course. As far as things that I have learned, I can tell you that you can pretty much get the same things from reading alot, watching every video on youtube an talking to as many people as you can who are in the business. Paying close to $850 for the online course may not seem feasible for someone who is looking to just get some knowledge for home brewing. It is, however, great for someone who is planning on going into the business. It has taken all the information and knowledge that I have gathered over the last 2-3 years and condensed it into an actual learning format. I am also going up on Nov. 28-30 for a three seminar course that discusses brewery and brewpub operations. All in all, I have spent close to $2000. Is this a good investment? I believe so, but if I could take the time off to actually attend, I would have done that instead of the online course, because I believe hands-on training is better than discussions and reading. email me at rmf451@gmail.com if you want to talk more about it and I can give you some information that could be useful.


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Old 10-17-2011, 06:09 PM   #12
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I took the Concise Course in Brewing Technology online from Siebel two years ago. It was paid for in part by the brewery I was working for as part of their benefits package. It's a good course and anyone interested in taking it should go ahead. It is pricey but if you're in the industry it is helpful for sure. It's not the be all and end all but it is one more course to ad to your CV.

What ChefJoeR said about investors wanting to see some credential is exactly what this one brewery owner wanted to see. They have a VERY good head brewer but without any "formal" training. Apparently 30 years in the commercial brewing industry along with startups isn't enough for some people. LOL The fact that I was going ahead and doing a course and would have something on paper was appealing to the owner as I can see it would be to investors.

The course itself is good but you do have to be diligent about it. There is a bunch of reading and testing along with weekly online discussion groups to answer questions and discuss the "Topic of the Week". If you fall behind it can be difficult to get caught up. I was doing it in the midst of full time brewery work, part time musician, full time dad with young family so there were times I did fall behind.

I'm not sure if there is any other information that people are looking for but I'm open to questions or discussion.


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Old 12-01-2011, 08:49 PM   #13
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We wrapped up the last class yesterday at Siebel in Chicago. I have to say, I was not impressed at all. In fact, I am somewhat disappointed in the class content. With a course syllabus that has titles such as "Brewpub Startup" and "Business Plan, Section 1", I was under the impression that this would be a very business focused class. Most everyone who attended had tremendous brewing knowledge and of course viewed this class as the next stepping stone in their future. Most of the speakers began with some sound information, but ended with useless information. The total mention for the SBA was probably 5 minutes. Most of the talks were about their personal experience, which did in someways give useful info, but then they changed gears to give sales presentations of their product and strayed away from the topic. There were two saving graces, the GM from Goose Island Pub and Brewery and a representative from the TTB (Tax and Trade Bureau). The GM from Goose Island opened his books and explained the numbers, the systems, the necessity and the structure of the financial systems in a brewpub/restaurant setting. The representative from the TTB gave all the information that we needed for the proper filing and regulatory systems they have in place. Most of the others just gave you information that you could have easily gotten from visiting their website or sitting down at the bar and having a beer with them. There was very little substance, if any. Not one of them mentioned SCORE, which is an organization that helps out entrepreneurs by connecting them to former CEO's, CFO's, retired heads of industry and many others. This is also a free service! They would have mentioned this if they did more research on the SBA site because there is a link under the business planning and development heading. Alot of them gave the how's but never gave the why's. I just don't feel that there was enough, if any, business related material regarding starting up a company. There was very little discussion on financial, bank loans, real estate contracts and many more topics one would research in order to build a business. I believe that if you are to do this class right, you should invite a representative from the SBA, SCORE, major financial institution, business lawyers, business plan writers and better heads of industry to give the class talks. Having only one class on the legal aspects of the business is not enough. This class is definetly not one that I will reccomend to anyone.

Email me if you want more information or wish to hear me rant somemore!
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:32 PM   #14
brewhappy
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It seems like most breweries want some education for new hires anymore. I have decided to make the leap into a brewing career. I am currently struggling over which Seibel class to take. I would love to take the full International Diploma Program but unfortunately that is not an option for me at this time. So I can take the 2 week Concise Course or the 6 week Associates Program. The Concise course is about $3000 and the Associates Program is about $10000, so financially it’s a big decision. If the price difference wasn’t so great I’d easily pick the Associates. But, I know plenty of brewers that have just the Concise course, so I am wondering if it is really worth it to take the Associates Program.

My goal is to work in a local brewery. I have no problem working long hard hours for little pay. I just want to get my foot in the door.

Does anyone have any info on the Associates Program?
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:05 AM   #15
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:58 AM   #16
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I am looking to sign up for the concise course but the only thing is that someone on here mentioned that it takes quite a bit of time to fully complete the class and all the work, i have a full time job and want to make sure that i will still have the time to finish and get all the information needed.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:48 AM   #17
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Hmmm I am still keeping the idea of doing the classes in the back of my head, but I am currently at the crossroad of deciding whether I want to pursue beer or go back to school for a masters degree in history...I guess I could combine the two and get a Doctorate for Historical Fermentation...decisions decisions...

...anyways If you still have some questions about the Siebel's programs I had emailed this guy Keith from Siebel a while back. He was very helpful and answered all my questions. Give him a holler if your curious.

Cheers!
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:49 PM   #18
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I have decided to take the Siebel Associates Program courses online. This provides the base theory and classroom part of the International Diploma, without the fun trip to Europe. I talked to a couple people that said I would already know 90% of the Concise course material and I didn't want to spend $3K on that so I figured if I am going to spend some money I might as well learn something with it.

The course looks pretty intimidating, I haven't been in school for over 5 yrs so it will be an adjustment. I am working full time as well.

As mentioned previously I am also doing this because I feel this will give comfort to some investors that they are not investing in someone who has not already made the commitment/investment themselves.

I'll post some updates as I go through the courses. First course starts Feb 27.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:32 PM   #19
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Hey brew happy, just curious how the courses are going? I am looking at doing the program as well.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:23 PM   #20
brewhappy
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I have been meaning to put an update for a bit, thanks for the reminder.

So the classes are not as hard as I expected, at least not so far. I didn't take a lot of science classes and don't have any science degree. But if you have read some of the more advanced homebrewing books (Noonan, Gordon Strong, Yeast by Jamil) and you understand them, you are in a good position to take the class.

The classes are set up such that you have about 3-4 quizzes each week to complete and your grade in the class is entirely based on your quiz scores. However you can complete the quizzes at your own pace. I was out of town for the first couple weeks and didn't do any quizzes. I was about a month behind at the end of the first month, but I put some time in and am now only a couple quizzes behind.

The quizzes are a mix of difficult and easy questions. Most have 5-6 questions, but some have only 1-2. The quizzes are based on power point slides with accompanied audio. You do have to listen to the audio and click through each slide because your "progress" page shows how many pages you have completed. Also some of the questions can only be answered by listening to the audio portion. You are sent a pdf of the power point slides before the class which includes example quiz questions that are identical or nearly identical to the actual quiz questions. So you can write them down before you go through the audio slides and then be sure to jot down the important stuff. This is good because they are throwing so much information at you that it would be nearly impossible to take enough notes to cover all the possible questions for the quiz. Hope that makes sense.

The class is entirely based on Jean de Clerk's Textbook of Brewing. De Clerck gets far more into the weeds but you can almost always answer the quiz questions (except for any newer info like hop products) with this book. The MBAA has a 3 part series of books that the course is also somewhat based on. But I have not found those books to be very helpful in answering the quiz material. They are good books just to read through and maybe take some notes, but if you want to buy a book get de Clerck. Heck if you don't want to spend the money on the classes, buy de Clerck and spend some quality time with it. I'd say if you get half of the info in the book it would be equivalent to taking the class.

Anyway I am a little more than half way through the Raw Materials and Wort production class. I'll try to remember to post some more updates as I go. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.


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