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Aug 02 2017
by Jessica Vuong

7 Colleges Where You Can Take a Class on Beer

By Jessica Vuong - Aug 02 2017

When you think of college, the idea of beer pong might come to your head, but what about beer classes? There are several colleges that not only offer beer-related courses, but offer beer certificates and degrees. The beer industry is one that is steadily growing and these colleges will prep you with the necessary sensory and business skills to be a part of the beer brewing industry. Courses and programs offered by these universities cover topics ranging from chemical composition to business models to brewing styles, so you have a wide variety of beer classes to choose from!

1. San Diego State University

SDSU has a craft beer education camp offered through the college's Business of Craft Beer Certificate Program and it attracts students internationally. This craft beer program was implemented back in 2013 and believe it or not, the courses in the program were sold out within minutes. This beer camp program offers you two different options to learn about the art of craft beer. Students who choose the Craft Beer Connoisseur Camp will gain skills in prepping for beer certification exams. Students who join the Brewery Startup Camp get the opportunity to learn about the tools necessary to open up a brewery. If you have a passion for beer and want some hands-on experiences, SDSU's craft beer program could be for you.

2. The University of California, Davis

Here's a fun fact: Since 1958, UC Davis has been one of the top providers of university-level qualification in brewing science and engineering. UC Davis offers students beer brewing programs that range from a 10-week Professional Brewers Certificate to an 18-week Master Brewers Program, the choice is all up to you. In addition to offering graduate-level brewing degrees, UC Davis also has undergraduate brewing courses for students who want to dabble in the art of beer brewing. The course, "Introduction to Practical Brewing," gives you access to a state-of-the-art brewing facility on campus, and lets you look into the quality of each raw material selection. Other available beer-related courses involve brewing chemistry, calculations and other beer basics. 

3. The University of California, San Diego

Students who enroll in UC San Diego's part-time, evening and weekend entry-level brewing program will receive both academic and practical training to prepare themselves for a career in the beer industry. Students usually complete this certificate within 18-24 months. As a bonus, students get to choose to take as many or as few classes as they would like, based on their preferred workload. This program is great if you're looking to learn about beer brewing on your own flexible schedule and want training inside the classroom as well as outside at local breweries. One of the courses available, "Sensory Evaluation and Beer Styles," teaches students to control variables in the brewing process to achieve their desired brew. Another course, "Food Pairings and Beer Dinners," focuses more on using sensory evaluation skills to pair beer styles to food. 

4. Central Washington University

Students at CWU have the option of choosing from an abundant list of brewing courses because of CWU's Craft Beer Certificate Program. This program is meant to provide students with the skills necessary to break into this growing industry. CWU students can choose to join this year-long Craft Brewing Program, or for those who want to know even more, there is a four year Bachelor of Science in Craft Brewing program. Out of the many courses available for students applying for these CWU programs, an example of a beer class you can take is "Brewing Microbiology," which teaches you hands-on laboratory brewing skills.

5. University of Vermont

If you're the type of person who wants to know more about the business aspect of the beer industry, rather than the hands-on brewing part, then UVM's Business of Craft Beer Certificate program could be for you. This program takes place online, so location won't be a problem. Students enrolled in this program get to learn all about the business operations, marketing strategies, sales and social media behind the beer industry. For example, the course "Business Operations in Craft Beer" teaches you how to build a profitable and efficient craft beer business.

6. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Cal Poly Pomona gives you several beer courses to choose from. In "The Science of Beer," students will go into the chemical properties in beer and understand the processes that take place during beer brewing. In addition, students will gain knowledge on quality control and brewing industry regulations. In "Beyond the Kit: All Grain Brewing," students will combine science with art. This hands-on course allows students to explore the different kinds of brewing methods and see how each individual recipe turns out. "The Culture of Micro-brewery and Handcraft Beers" is less of a hands-on class and more of an educational course on the history of beer. 

7. Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU offers a minor in Brewing Science and a certificate in brewing. One of their courses, "Beers of the World," walks you through the numerous beer styles around the world, as well as what factors influenced each beer region. Another course, "Beer Styles and Service," gives students an idea of each beer style's cultural history and customs. Along with this, students will learn about the sensory composition of beer involving foam, color, taste and more.

Even if you're not planning on obtaining a degree in beer brewing or joining a beer program, it could be worth it to take one of these beer courses offered, simply to learn about the science and art that goes into crafting a mug of good ole' beer.

Lead Image Credit: Wil Stewart via Unsplash

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Jessica Vuong - University of California, Davis

Jessica is currently attending UC Davis and majoring in Managerial Economics. She was vice-president of teensReach, a community service organization, and has competed in several SJPL art & design contests. She loves coffee, sarcasm, and rainy weather. Follow her on instagram: @jsscvng | pinterest: jessvjess | VSCO: jessvjess

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