Learn About Spirits at Fine Art Bartending

Fine Art Bartending is proud to be one of WSET’s Approved Programme Providers for offering both the Level 1 and Level 2 Award in Spirits in Vancouver. For more than 50 years, the Wine and Spirits Education Trust has been certifying individuals worldwide in wine, spirits and sake. At Fine Art Bartending, we are excited to teach this interactive class in essential spirits training for anyone looking for additional spirits knowledge.

Bartenders should understand where in the world each spirit comes from, plus what each of the spirits they pour is made from. WSET has recently made spirits now a dedicated certification learning track for those interested in distilled products. The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has been offering training in wine and spirits now for over 50 years. What basic knowledge do you have of the different spirits? Do you know the minimum amount of aging a cognac requires? Is Mexico, France, Japan or the Caribbean most reputable for whisky production?

At Fine Art Bartending we currently have three options available for earning your WSET Award in Spirits Certificates in both the Level 1 and Level 2. Start with the essentials in Level 1 and then add to those basics with additional knowledge on a greater range of spirits in Level 2.

Option #1 – Earn your Level 1 Award in Spirits from WSET (In Person 2 days)

This is an in-person class that we offer many times per year. There is a lot of learn, so we split the class into TWO 4-hour in person classes. This first level class starts with the key steps in creating a spirit. We teach the different still types and the role that aging and adding sweetness play in creating the final bottled product. Alcohol is very easy to make, it’s difficult to make well though. Handling and storing requires care and attention to craft the spirits we know and love.

Come spend a bit of time and learn those essentials of spirit production with a few other people in class. We keep these classes small so that everyone gets a chance to participate. By the end of the 8 hours of class, you will know

  • main production processes and equipment commonly used in spirits production
  • principal spirit types (plus aromatized wines) and describe the defining characteristics of each
  • fundamentals behind creating a balanced cocktail

We have a textbook for you to work through during the classes. Bring a pen and you can make all your tasting notes in the book alongside the slides we work through.

In addition, we have 12 different tasting samples to illustrate the typical characteristics of spirits, liqueurs and cocktails. Coaching in how to properly taste is a skill unto itself and with a little help we can show you what you need.

Option #2 – Do your WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits ONLINE (4 Weeks)

WSET L1 Spirits Online

We know everyone has busy schedules and may not be able to attend our in person classes. If you are from out-of-town and would like to earn your certification, you can! As long as you have a great internet connection we can register you for the online learning option. You can work through the modules at your own pace over the course of 4 weeks and chat with people from around the world about tasting notes on different spirits. The learning outcomes are the same as those for our in-person classes, you just work through them when you are available.


We are now taking registrations for the next intake of Level 1 online students. The deadline for registration is. So register today and we’ll get you set up with an ebook and access to the online learning portal. We have linked the new specification for the Level 1 Award in Spirits here for additional information.

Option #3. Continue with WSET Level 2 in Spirits ONLINE (5 Weeks)

When you have an understanding of the essentials mastered in the first level of your spirits certification training, you will be ready to learn more. This spirits-focused program is much more detailed than the Level 1 Spirits. This level is a 6 module program and you will have 5 weeks to complete the course.

WSET has outlined the full details under their Level 2 spirits course specification. The 4 main learning outcomes from Level 2 are as follows:

  • Understand the main production factors for spirits
  • Learn spirit labelling and key characteristics of the principal spirits
  • Describe flavoured spirits, liqueurs and aromatized wines
  • Know bar equipment and principles of serving spirits

The Level 2 Award in Spirits has lots of information and we recommend students spend about 6 hours a week between reading the material and working through the online class activities. By the end of the program, you will understand the fundamentals of spirits production and how the raw materials are used to create each of the key spirit styles. The deadline for the next intake is highlighted with the countdown clock below.

WSET L2 spirits online

Certification Requires Testing

Now after spending all that time sitting and learning, we need to see how much you have retained. WSET is the certification body for these Level 1 and Level 2 Awards in Spirits and they have a multiple choice test to assess your general knowledge.

We have some very strict guidelines to follow while administering the test. Students must be registered for the classes 1 week in advance of the class start date so that participants can be properly registered with WSET and exams can be sent from the UK to us in Vancouver. Late registrations will be subject to a late fee, as London requires time for student processing.

We hold all our classes and exams at our downtown Vancouver location on Pender between Richards and Homer. Jump on the Skytrain, then walk a few minutes from Waterfront station to 432 W Pender.


If you are unable to come to our downtown location, we can arrange for a remotely invigilated test for an additional fee.

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