“I’m in a beer Disneyland!” “The camp far exceeded my expectations. Literally EVERYTHING was thought of.” “My brain was put into info overload, but in the best way possible.”
Now in its third year, San Diego State University’s Brewery Start-Up Camp consistently gets rave reviews from craft beer aficionados who come from around the world to experience the nine-day version of SDSU’s popular Business of Craft Beer program.
This year’s Brewery Start-Up Camp is August 17–25, offering campers eight days of intensive instruction covering everything you need to know to launch a brewery, and one free day to explore San Diego. Topics include location, trends, finance, legal aspects, marketing, draught systems, ingredients and purchasing, tasting room management, and distribution. Courses are held at SDSU and local breweries, and taught by the same local craft-beer experts who teach in SDSU’s renowned two-year program — Dave Adams, Matthew Johnson, Chad Heath, Michael Peacock, and Candace Moon.
“If you’re thinking about starting or even if you’ve started your brewery, this is the sort of place you can use to check your assumptions,” said 2017 camper Scott Cebula of Orange County. “You can learn things from experience by doing the wrong thing. The easer way is to learn through experience by asking people who’ve done it before. It just saves you a lot of time and money.”
Fellow camper George Farrow of the United Kingdom agreed. “Intense, and really, really beneficial for me to take back to the U.K. You think you know about beer until you come here.”
The $1,795 tuition includes 55 hours of instruction, a welcome reception, two meals at local breweries, loads o’ tasty craft beer samples, shuttles to off-site classes and events, transit passes to get to class and explore San Diego, and discounted rates at several nearby hotels. Craft beer campers also get a certificate of completion.
“The camaraderie was absolutely great,” said 2017 attendee Armando Tapia of Baja California. “The first eight hours we were complete strangers, by the end of the night we were best friends … just talking about beer and life.”
Alejandro Rivera of Mexico City added, “All this knowledge will enhance the quality of my beer and my brewery and my business. Because it’s not only making beer, it’s also a business. … These have been the best nine days of my life.”