We aim to make the learning and certification process as easy and convenient as possible. Earn a certification online or in-person. Our Certified Bourbon Steward program is a self-study experience using our Bourbon Steward Handbook. To become an Executive Bourbon Steward, join us for intensely fun hands-on instruction, or receive your Executive Certification online with an in-depth self-study program modeled after our in-person experience.

Looking to gift a course to your favorite bourbon enthusiast? Gift Certificates are available in our shop!

Learn more about each certification below:

The Certified Bourbon Steward membership is a self-study program for bourbon enthusiasts from all walks of life. This in-depth program is designed so that once you’re a Bourbon Steward, you’ll be able to discuss America’s native spirit confidently and accurately, as well as be able to make recommendations to friends, family, and others based on their individual taste and preferences.

  • Easy certification: Receive the study guide, study, then take the test online through your personal account here at www.staveandthief.com
  • Learn the science behind distilling and ageing
  • Learn the basics of sensory training and flight building
Learn More and Enroll

Designed for industry professionals and bourbon enthusiasts alike, our in-person and online offerings provide a strengthened understanding of the technical side of bourbon production, its history and relationship to other whiskeys, and the variety of aromas and flavors found in different expressions, giving you all the tools you need to build creative flights and guide your own engaging sensory experiences.

  • Lifetime professional recognition as an Executive Bourbon Steward
  • The Bourbon Steward Handbook
  • A 36-piece Sensory Kit
  • A crossed thieves lapel pin (upon course completion)
  • A special Stave and Thief Society challenge coin (upon course completion)

In addition to joining the 5,700+ Bourbon Stewards from around the world who have graduated our program, you’ll also gain the ability to speak with knowledge and confidence when sharing your appreciation for Kentucky’s signature spirit.

Online In-Person

If you’re a business that sells bourbon – whether it’s a restaurant, a bar, a hotel, or a retail store – you can now enjoy the advantages of being a Stave & Thief Society Establishment Member no matter your location. With a one-time fee, you’ll get a lifetime membership, plus:

  • 10 Certified Bourbon Steward handbooks and online test codes
  • Be featured as a certified establishment on Stave & Thief’s website
  • Option to host Stave & Thief society events at your location
  • Permanent discounts on future Certified and Executive level registrations
Learn More and Enroll

What People Are Saying ...

I would recommend the Executive program for an enthusiast and for a younger bartender who has not yet done a lot of studies to sharpen their bourbon and distilling knowledge.

John Douglass


I am more confident when doing a tasting, either guiding it for friends or as a participant. It helps me look more credible on applications for industry jobs.

Charlie Humphery


This certification provided me with a more in-depth knowledge of the distillation process and improved my sensory knowledge.

David Proffitt


I certainly would recommend this program to a friend or colleague. You’ll learn so much in one day and emerge a much smarter consumer.

Tim Ferree


Are you ready? Enroll today.

Register in one of our upcoming Executive Bourbon Steward classes and immerse yourself in a bourbon experience like no other.

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Online Certification

Member Directory

In-Person Certification


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