Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast®

Notice: Admission to the Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast's Fall 2024 Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation A.A.S. program is now open to the first 24 qualified applicants. You may apply at the Bailey Student Services Center on A-B Tech's main campus in Asheville. We also welcome you to visit or contact the Craft Beverage Institute, located at 1465 Sand Hill Road at A-B Tech Enka (across from Ingles). We will offer tours on Thursday, May 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with tours starting on the hour. 
To learn more, review the program requirements and contact us at (828) 398-7191.


The Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast ® (CBI) at A-B Tech was founded in 2013 to support the rapidly growing craft beverage industry in Western North Carolina and the Southeast by providing curriculum and non-credit courses in brewing, distilling, fermentation, and related business practices. Its Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation AAS degree was the first two-year program in the nation. The Institute prepares individuals for positions in brewery and distillery operations and management, distribution, sales and marketing, and customer service or to be self-employed and open their own craft production facility.

Located at A-B Tech Enka, the Craft Beverage Institute offers a training fermentation facility that supports real-time learning and reflects industry standards:

  • Commercial size brew-house
  • Six pilot brewing systems
  • Hybrid distillation system
  • Commercial winery production equipment
  • Sensory analysis lab
  • Packaging lines
  • Quality assurance/quality control lab

In addition to brewing, distillation, and winemaking practices, students perform experiments and vet their production output via sensory evaluations. Students perform experiments and receive “just-in-time” instruction.

Learn more about our curriculum Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation program.

Listen to Jeff "Puff" Irvin's, podcast Consuming the Craft.

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Craft Beverage Institute Staff

The Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast is part of A-B Tech’s renowned Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program - home of the nation's first two-year degree in Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation. Please contact us if you have questions about the Institute, our programs, certifications, workshops, and conferences.

Jeff Irvin


Jeff "Puff" Irvin

Director Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast

(828) 398-7191

John Lyda


John Lyda

Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation Instructor

(828) 782-2326

Jim Schram


Jim Schram

Craft Beverage Institute Lab Manager

(828) 782-2325