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WSET L2 Award in Beer ONLINE

WSET L2 Award in Beer ONLINE

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Course Information 

The WSET Level 2 Award in Beer focuses on how key ingredients and production processes influence the style and quality of beer. It will also teach you how to taste, describe, and evaluate the quality of beer.

If you’re a beer or hospitality professional, you’ll be able to offer valuable guidance on selection and service to your colleagues and customers. If you’re a beer enthusiast, you’ll know exactly what to look for when choosing beers for any occasion.

Upon completion, you’ll gain a recognised qualification and the skills to select, describe, and recommend beers with authority.

What will I learn:

  • Know the main ingredients used in beer production, how they are processed and their influence on the style of beer produced
    • Malt (malted grains) and adjuncts, water, hops and other flavourings, yeast and bacteria
  • Know how beer production influences the style and quality of beer
    • Alcoholic fermentation process, brewing process, brewing equipment, beer production options, spontaneous and mixed culture fermentation options
  • Know the key principles and processes involved in the storage and service of beer
    • Ideal conditions for storage, packaging and shelf life, service temperatures, glassware, beer on tap, bottled beer, common faults, beer and food
  • Know how over 60 beer styles are produced and labelled and their typical characteristics
    • Malt-driven lagers, malt-driven ales, hop-driven lagers, hop-driven ales, yeast-driven ales, Mixed fermentation styles, other speciality beers

View the Specification 


Your learning will be assessed by a closed-book exam of 50 multiple-choice questions, to be completed in 60 minutes. Exams will be available both online and in person.

This qualification is graded:
  • Pass: 55% - 69%
  • Pass with Merit: 70% - 84%
  • Pass with Distinction: 85% or more

WSET is committed to making our exams fair and accessible, and ensuring that no candidate is placed at a disadvantage. If you have any special requirements or need to request reasonable adjustments, please let us know.

This qualification is regulated by Ofqual.

Successful students will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin.

Tasting Beer

WSET's approach focuses on learning through tasting. This allows you to experience the influence of ingredients, processes and other key factors in the glass.

While you won’t be assessed on your tasting skills, tasting forms an important part of every WSET course. Through the course, you will learn how to taste beer using the WSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Beer®.

Students studying in person will taste around 32 beers across a range of styles.

Recommended tasting samples
  • Tasting technique: British-style brown ale, Weissbier, Sweet stout, American pale ale, Oude Geuze (Gueuze)
  • Brewing process and malting: Munich Helles, Munich Dunkel
  • Malt-driven styles: Doppelbock, Rauchbier Märzen, Any two malt-driven ale styles
  • Hop-driven styles: Czech Pilsner, German Pilsner, American IPA, Hazy IPA
  • Yeast-driven styles: Saison, Tripel, Dubbel, Witbier
  • Mixed fermentation styles: Oude Geuze (Gueuze), Oude Kriek, Flanders red, Framboise, Gose
  • Other speciality beers: Two low-alcohol beers, a gluten-free beer, a barrel-aged beer
  • Off-flavours: American or international pale lager (can), American or international pale lager (green bottle), American or Hazy IPA (stored refrigerated), American or Hazy IPA (kept in a warm environment)

Studying Online 

  • Where: Online via WSET’s Online Classroom, with exam in Reading or online*
  • Duration: Five weeks of self-guided study to be completed around your schedule
  • Private study: At least six hours a week
  • Samples: Beers not included. We recommend you taste a minimum of 25 beers and you‘ll get guidance on what styles to taste
  • Includes: Access to WSET's Online Classroom for one year (where you can participate in online lessons, activities, tests, and forums), a dedicated online tutor who is available to answer your questions during the course, your examination, and exclusive offers via our Student Deals Card
  • Enhanced features: Revision videos, flashcards and exam tips
  • Who: Those who need a flexible study option, international students, or those far away from our classroom centres
  • Technology requirements: We recommend that you use a laptop or desktop device and have a reliable internet connection. To sit your examination online you will also need one additional smart device such as a smartphone or tablet


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