equipment in Ambev's brewhouse in Argentina
An Ambev brewhouse in Argentina (Photo Courtesy of Raissa Ramis Lemes)

How Ambev’s Craftsmanship Soars with Training from the UC Davis Master Brewers Program

Quick Summary

  • In this success story, we share how the international brewing company Ambev enhances their employees’ training with in-depth knowledge from the Master Brewers Certificate Program.
  • Ambev relies on the skills and knowledge their employees gain in the program to improve their brewing processes, lead internal trainings and inspire colleagues to brew great beer. 

Headquartered in São Paulo, Ambev—a Brazilian brewing company now merged with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev)—operates in 16 countries throughout the Americas. Their greatest asset is the more than 31,000 people who make up Ambev, and as such, the company is dedicated to nurturing the talent and potential of their employees through professional development.    

Why Send Employees to the Master Brewers Program? 

“We wanted an international experience with lots of practice and deep knowledge from a prestigious institution,” says Raissa Ramis Lemes, who works at the South America Training Center for Ambev, on why she turned to the UC Davis Master Brewers Certificate Program.   

headshot of Master Brewers graduate Josefina Bennett
Because Bennett's role focuses on the brewing process, Ambev selected her to attend the Master Brewers Program. (Photo courtesy of Josefina Bennett)

The Master Brewers Certificate Program has long been known as a premier brewing program for those looking to break into the brewing industry. The brewing certificate is a dream maker, helping brewers around the world turn their passion for brewing into a successful career.    

As an internationally recognized top brewing program, however; the Master Brewers Certificate Program is also a sought-after provider of formal training in brewing science and brewery engineering for industry professionals across the globe. Brewing professionals who come out of the program are seen as leaders in their organization who can help train and inspire their colleagues.    

Ambev first began sending employees to UC Davis in 2022. Those two team members paved the way for 10 more in 2023 and another 10 are set to attend in 2024. “What we want from them is to come back with knowledge to improve their results and the beer process quality at their breweries,” says Ramis, adding that the training from the Master Brewers Program also helps with employee engagement.    

“AB InBev considers not only technical knowledge important but also the brewers' ability to inspire others to create interesting, refreshing beers,” says Josefina Bennett, brewing process team leader at Ambev in Buenos Aires and a 2023 graduate of the Master Brewers Certificate Program. “My main objective was to convey the brewing passion, whether in the craft or industrial world.”   

How Can Companies Benefit from the Master Brewers Program? 

Graduates of the program return to their breweries with a strong background in the brewing process and the skills and knowledge to step in and run a professional brewing operation. “These graduates develop improvement projects in their breweries and also act as instructors on internal training for operations or even leadership levels,” says Ramis.    

Bennett says that upon returning from the program, she was able to train operators in the brewhouse on technical knowledge. “It also allowed for making improvements in the process and constantly innovating.”   

The international experience that employees gain by attending the Davis-based brewing training program is another key benefit for a company that spans international borders. “I wanted to broaden my horizons and experience different realities,” says Bennett. “The Master Brewers Program provided me with a fantastic opportunity to meet people passionate about beer, production, ingredients and the experience of sharing knowledge. It brought friends from all around the world into my life, and even a year later, we're still in touch, consulting each other about the process.”    

a brewing packaging line with one of Ambev's main beers in Brazil
A packaging line with one of Ambev's main products in Brazil, Brahma Duplo Malte. (Photo courtesy of Raissa Ramis Lemes)

What do Industry Professionals Gain from the Master Brewers Program? 

Training from the Master Brewers Certificate Program provides industry professionals with in-depth understanding that they can apply in their brewing operations. “While I already had a foundation of technical knowledge, the Master Brewers Program was ideal for deepening my understanding, especially in the craft beer world, where I considered myself a complete ‘novice,’” says Bennett.   

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The opportunity to connect with industry experts is another important takeaway. For Bennett, the instructors were the most valuable aspect of the program. “They always brought an innovative perspective, incorporating cutting-edge techniques and research,” she explains.   

Ultimately, training from the UC Davis brewing class results in promotions for graduates. “Upon completing the Brewmaster Program, I secured a promotion at work, leading to more responsibilities, managing more people and overseeing additional processes,” says Bennett. “Undertaking the program provided me with more tools to become a reference in the brewing process at the brewery where I work.”  

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