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The Beverageintelligence Learning journey

We fundamentally believe that learning is an ongoing journey. So often in life we are taught that you stop and start learning. You start High School, you finish it. You start University, you finish it. That is not how careers work though, it is a constant quest for learning and growth, and that is how we have designed the Beverageintelligence learning journey. Our CEO, Allister Kreft, explains more about our learning journey in the following video, and we summarise it for you below that. Whether you are working in hospitality, retail or just want to dig into the subject of wine, we have an in-depth path for you.

Please click here if you want to pre-register for Term 2 | 2024.

Your learning journey should start with Level 1 on our training programs, where we engage in our face to face training programs, typically Wine101 and Service Brilliant Basics. This is where we spend time together, either in properties, or at a central training venue, and unpack where flavour comes from in wine, why we suggest wine to Guests, and how to do so with confidence and knowledge. These sessions are fun, engaging and packed with information to build that foundation of learning.

We then invite you to join our Beverageintelligence Online university, and the Level 1 courses therein. You will be enrolled in Wine101 online and Bar101 online. These courses dig deeper into the subjects of wine, service and bartending, and help develop the confidence and knowledge to engage with Guests. Our bar course covers the brilliant basics and classic cocktails, as you never know when you will be called to make that perfect aperitif or digestif for Guests. On the BI University, you will enroll in a Term. Each year we have two Terms, one starting in the beginning of the year, and one starting in the middle of the year. These Terms are guided and supported by our Education team, on whatsapp groups, email, and our Discussion forums. So you are not alone in your learning path.

Once you have completed a Term successfully, by passing Level 1 courses, you automatically qualify for Level 2, our Masterclass program. This section of our learning journey is crucial, as it focuses on story telling. Quite early on in my career, I was very confident in my winemaking and vineyard knowledge, having spent time with my Dad making wine at Belfield. I was shocked, therefore, as a waiter, to be told that nobody cares about my wine knowledge, I need to learn about the brands. Brand stories, of the people and the place behind the wine are more interesting to most Guests, than malolactic fermentation and carbonic maceration! I took this advice to heart and spent much more time meeting winemakers and engaging with them. This is what we have aimed to deliver with Level 2, a space where you can meet the winemakers, and learn about their stories and their unique place, in order to share those with Guests and Customers.

So if Wine101 and Bar101 are about building the foundations, the Masterclasses are building the walls, where you can practice sharing stories and interesting titbits about the wines from your experiences virtually meeting the winemakers.

Once you have completed three Masterclasses you qualify to join the Level 3 - Wine Advisor course. This is our junior Sommelier course, filmed with Joseph Dhafana, one of Africa's best known Somms. In this course we dig into the art of suggesting wine, with Joseph as a mentor throughout. We link wine and other drinks service into a journey around the Guest table, from before they arrive, to after they leave. This course builds on your service and engagement skills with Guests, it is very in-depth and detailed and requires completion of Level 1 and 2 before embarking on Level 3.

This process of moving from Level 1 to Level 3 takes most learners about 18 months, or 3 Terms of work. What happens thereafter? We automatically assign more Masterclasses in the terms that follow, to enable more detailed story telling and brand knowledge. We are also busy building out a coach the coach course, to enable Wine Advisors in each customer we work with to become coaches to their team. This links in with our learning philosophy here.

Lastly, for each customer we work with, we assign an Education Coach, to guide and drive the learning journey. This is a key team member, as we can provide all the tools, but there needs to be buy in and drive on the ground. If you are interested in engaging in this learner journey, and we work with you on your drinks program, please reach out!

One Learners have passed Level 3, they also qualify for our Wine Advisor week, in the Cape Winelands. This is an indepth and powerful week of learning, where we visit wineries and do indepth Masterclasses with them. We also experience a fine dining restaurant together, with some of the top Somms in South Africa. See below for an overview.

Well done to all of the learners that have gone so far in their journey with us, here is a recent chat we had with one of the top students and coaches in the Beverageintelligence University. Keep it up Pride! Great work.


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