Mike Gerhart Joins University of Vermont Business of Craft Beer Program as Instructor

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Mike Gerhart, Senior Advisor of Brewery Technical Services at First Key Consulting and an accomplished Master Brewer and Operations leader in the brewing industry, has joined the University of Vermont Business of Craft Beer Professional Certificate Program as an instructor. He will be focusing his instruction on Brewery Operations and Supply Chain Fundamentals.

“Mike has a wealth of knowledge and experience as a master brewer and in brewery operations at some of the biggest and most successful brands around the country,” said Gregory Dunkling, Director, Business of Craft Beer Program at UVM. “We are delighted to have him join us as an instructor supporting participants in The Business of Craft Beer Program with a focus on operations.”

Prior to joining First Key Consulting, Gerhart served as the Chief Operating Officer at Hill Farmstead Brewery where they consecutively earned the distinction of Best Brewery in the World by RateBeer.com during his tenure. He has a strong reputation working with breweries such as Hill Farmstead, Dogfish Head, Otter Creek, Magic Hat, and Coors.

In his coursework with UVM, Gerhart will be a lead instructor for Module 2: Making Craft Beer, which will teach the following subjects:

  • Describing the process flow and unit operations involved in making beer: milling, brewing, fermenting/aging, centrifugation, filtration, bright beer
  • Discuss packaging options and the related operational considerations and priorities
  • Examine how the operational impacts of craft beer production vs. “big beer”
  • Discuss strategies for identifying, monitoring, and mitigating risks associated with producing craft beer
  • Extend knowledge of the craft beer-making process to predict the downstream impacts of disruptions in the process flow on the overall operation

Gerhart will lead students through a focus on raw materials, beer production, packaging, and warehouse. Students work together to compile a risk management log and map out how their beer will be made.

“I am extremely excited to join UVM’s faculty of industry veterans and experts to help advance the Business Of Craft Beer’s mission by providing participants with the essential business skills needed to be successful in today’s craft beer industry, says Gerhart. “ I feel that my extensive brewing industry background and real-life experiences will allow me to greatly help the program participants to achieve the needed competitive edge for success in today’s craft beer industry.”

He adds that there is also unprecedented competition with more than 7,000 brewery openings in the United States since 2010.  This landscape leaves no room for operations that do not possess sound business models, exceptional products and quality systems, effective marketing and media strategies, efficient operations, and a strong community connection.

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About University of Vermont Continuing and Distance Education:

Continuing and Distance Education (CDE) at the University of Vermont helps thousands of non-traditional students start and continue their education. Through innovative professional programs like the Business of Craft Beer, and collaborations with UVM’s colleges and schools, CDE offers courses and programs to help students explore their college options or to advance their careers. Online at www.learn.uvm.edu 

About UVM Business of Craft Beer Professional Certificate Program:

The University of Vermont’s Business of Craft Beer program is a  business school for brewery start-ups and brewery expansion. Students gain essential details of business and operations to start and run a successful brewery. A fully online professional certificate program, all courses are led by industry experts, representing small and large breweries, distributors, and consultants to serve as instructors. Industry leaders join weekly discussions, offering invaluable insights, and providing students with access to some of the best minds in today’s craft beer industry.

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