Americans love beer. On average, a new craft brewery opens each day somewhere in the nation. Colleges and universities have long offered courses in brewing, including minors and certificate programs, but things are stepping up on the educational front.
Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo has announced it will offer a four-year program in “Sustainable Craft Brewing.” Many of the same science courses included in the pre-med program will be required of brewing students. And Western Michigan isn’t the only college adding a program; as many as forty other colleges are considering adding brewing to the curriculum.
[Professional brewer Brian] Steele says he likes the idea of packaging that knowledge into one degree. He says as his business grows, he wants to hire workers who already have brewing skills — workers like Ryan Hamilton, who plans to study sustainable brewing in college this fall.
“A lot of my knowledge that I’ve gained through the industry has been instructive through like kind of an apprentice-style system, or self-taught or learned through trial and error, but what I’m looking for now is a deeper and more intense knowledge and training of fermentation sciences,” Hamilton says.