Craft Distilling Institute - Fundamentals of Distilling Program
Craft Distilling Institute - Fundamentals of Distilling Program in Seattle WA

Put Your Knowledge into Practice

We offer the only Institute of Brewing & Distilling fundamentals program in the US

Program Overview

This 40-hour certificate program consists of 24 classroom hours with a written assessment, followed by 16-hours of hands-on practical work at an operational craft distillery. It includes the following courses:

Fundamentals of Distilling

In partnership with the UK's Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD), Seattle Central's Craft Distilling Institute offers the only USA-based IBD Fundamentals of Distilling course.

This 3-day intensive program combines classroom, lab and field trips to prepare candidates to take the IBD exam, which has become the internationally-recognized gold standard in professional qualifications for practical distillers, distillery owners, and distillery industry managers.

Expert instructors will guide you through classroom sessions that will include lectures, readings and written assignments on the elements of practical distilling.

Guest distillers will join the class, as well as offer tours and informative discussions on site at their local distilleries.

Practical Distilling Workshop

Join expert local craft distillers for a two-day hands-on practical distilling class exploring the basics of whiskey.

You'll participate in production from start to finish, smelling and tasting the distilled spirit at each stage of the process.

From mash through fermentation and wash production, you'll be integral to the final product.

We'll also discuss the post-distillation process such as barreling, proofing, and maturation, plus you'll have the opportunity to taste your newfound mastery of the nuances of whiskey.

Course Curriculum

The course content includes the following topics:

  • Raw Materials
  • Fermentation Theory, with an evening event focused on tasting and styles
  • Fermentation Technology
  • Distillation Technology Batch and Continuous
  • Specific Production Details for: Malt and Grain Whisk(e)y, Brandy, Rum, Gin and Vodka
  • Maturation and Blending
  • Packaging
  • Distillery Co-products
  • Quality Management Systems
  • Quality Process Control
  • Quality & Flavor
  • Quality Hygiene and Cleaning Systems
  • Plant Maintenance Philosophy
  • Health and Safety
  • Distilling and the Environment

Learning Outcomes

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain a thorough grounding in the Technology and Art of distillation
  • Visit two local distilleries to see the distillation process in action and speak with professionals
  • Receive an introduction to the consumer aspects of distilling
  • Learn from hands-on sessions on styles and blending
  • Network with other participants and enjoy a closing night dinner, complemented by craft spirits
  • Sit for a City & Guilds Accredited Examination and Certificate
  • Learn about distilling equipment such as the still, mashing & fermentation vessels, blending tanks, and measuring devices
  • Experience the fermentation process, from pre-fermentation through primary and secondary fermentation
  • Gain hands-on experience with material handling from mash to proofing
  • Engage in the multiple distilling runs required to produce a spirit
  • Learn best practices around distillery production

Who Should Participate in This Program?

This course is a great introduction to craft distilling for anyone who would benefit from background knowledge in distilling production, including:

  • Those that are working in the production of spirits, or the more technical aspects of distillation who would like to enhance their existing knowledge
  • Those working in the distilling supply chain, such as suppliers or distributors
  • Non-technical personnel in the distilling industry like sales, marketing, HR or finance
  • Anyone interested in starting a career within the distilling industry

Exam Information

The Fundamentals of Distilling exam takes the form of one two-hour multiple choice exam consisting of 50 questions. The pass mark is set at 66%. Candidates with a score of 66%-79% will receive a ‘Pass’. Candidates scoring over 80% achieve a ‘Credit’ pass while those attaining 90% or more are awarded a ‘Distinction’ pass.

The Fundamentals of Distilling examination has City & Guilds accreditation at Level 2 of the National Qualification Framework in the UK (or equivalent internationally recognised standards).

IMPORTANT NOTES: Candidates for the IBD Examination will register directly with the IBD with forms provided by Seattle Central College once course registration is complete.

In addition to the exam fee, which is paid directly to the IBD, there is a $25 computer test fee, payable to Seattle Central College. This fee is included in the course fee; however, if you choose to take the exam at another testing center, you will not be required to pay the computer test fee to Seattle Central College.

Session Details

  • Class ID: 6148
  • Instructor: Mike McCaw
  • When: We're not offering this class right now, but we will again in the future. Please bookmark this page and check back for updates, or sign up for our email list to receive news on upcoming classes. Thank you!
  • Total Number of Hours: 40
  • Where: Seattle Maritime Academy - Room 213 | 4455 Shilshole Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107
  • Fee: $2,799
  • Additional Notes: A group rate is available for multiple registrations at once; if you have any specific questions about this class or would like to learn more about our group rate, please contact us prior to registering.