DISCUS Academy

Education & Training for the Distilled Spirits Industry

DISCUS recognizes the importance of education and saw an opportunity to be a unifier for the industry by creating spirits industry business education. DISCUS Academy is the first and only provider of professional business education for the distilled spirits industry producer tier. Whether you are an industry insider or new to the spirits industry or looking for continuing your professional development, DISCUS Academy has something for you!

DISCUS Academy offers courses a la carte or specialty certificates in the 6 key subject domains of the spirits industry: Business Management & Finance, Sales & Marketing, Safety & Risk Management, Laws & Regulations, Industry Fundamentals and Leadership Development. There are also courses in an assortment of complexity from foundation up to advanced. Because of the flexibility of the programs and wide range of courses, these certificates are suited for everyone in the spirits industry!

DISCUS Academy is committed to upholding the principles of diversity and equality in all areas of its work, seeking to ensure that all participants and other stakeholders are treated fairly and equally. In accordance with this policy, women, minorities, people with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to participate in our programs. Diversity within DISCUS Academy will only lead to a more diverse talent pool and stronger more successful industry. To read our policies and learn about our commitment to diversity click here.


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Sales & Marketing Courses & Certificate

The Sales & Marketing courses are intended for any spirits industry professional interested in developing and mastering sales and marketing skills. Whether you are a distillery owner looking to build marketing knowledge or an experienced marketing professional, our program will give participants the knowledge to build an actionable roadmap for driving real sales growth.

Laws & Regulations Courses & Certificate

The Laws and Regulations courses are for spirits industry professionals who want to expand their knowledge base around essential distilled spirits legal issues in this highly complex regulatory landscape. Whether you are in-house counsel at a spirits company, outside counsel at a firm, or a non-lawyer faced with navigating these complex issues, our courses will give participants a foundation in the most critical beverage alcohol laws and regulations.

Safety & Risk Management Courses & Certificate

The Safety & Risk Management courses address many of the safety challenges distillers face and provides critical knowledge to spirits producers on how to create effective risk management systems. Participants will complete the program with an understanding of current regulations, best practices in the industry and how to instill a culture of safety in their business.

Business Management & Finance Courses & Certificate

The Business Management & Finance courses will enable students in the spirits industry to assess the value of strategic decisions by giving students a broader understanding of finance and the interaction between business strategy and financial strategy. Students will learn the key functions at the heart of any organization to make better decisions and accelerate growth as a leader. Courses will provide participants with a strong foundational understanding of business that can be immediately applied to work, whether someone is starting their career or already established in their current career.

Industry Fundamentals Certificate

The Industry Fundamentals Certificate is designed for professionals of all levels who are new to the spirits industry and want an in depth understanding of the fundamentals of the industry and its regulatory framework. Participants will gain foundational knowledge on the history of the modern spirits industry, the three-tier system, working with control states, state nuances, risk management, sales and marketing legal compliance, brand storytelling, TTB regulations, trade practice and tied-house considerations, supply chain risk, and FDA beverage alcohol jurisdiction.


The Sustainability Certificate

The Sustainability Certificate courses offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to address sustainability challenges specific to the distilled spirits industry. Participants will be equipped with practical strategies, tools, and knowledge to drive positive change within their organizations, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance overall sustainability performance.

Leadership Certificate

DISCUS Academy is dedicated to developing leaders who are committed to improving the distilled spirits industry and themselves. The Leadership Certificate Program has 3 unique programs: The Developing Leadership Program, the Developing Women program and the Executive Leadership Program.  All three programs are an 8-month commitment, consisting of virtual and in-person elements. Leadership Certificates will be taught in partnership with University of Kentucky and Cornell University and participants will receive a certificate from either institution upon completion.

Interested applicants should apply to the program that best suits their career stage. 25 applicants will be chosen to participate in each program cohort annually.  For more information and to apply click here.