Beer College Courses
By Templars Staff Blogger Dave Drury
With the college football returning and the school year upon us it got me thinking…where can I go to turn my love of beer into a degree?
Well it turns out that it’s a lot more common than I thought it would be as more and more schools are offering beer classes or degrees in brewing.
Of course there are the two big ones you might have heard of - Cicerone training and The Siebel Institute.
Cicerone training is a tough, arduous process that can cost upwards of $2300 (if you complete all four levels) and take years to complete. They only offer the level four test once or twice a year in Chicago…and, yes, you have to travel there. But it is by far the most well know and prestigious beer training class.
The Siebel Institute is actually the oldest brewing school in America, opening up in Chicago way back in 1868. Today though they also offer online classes and have facilities in San Diego, Montreal, Canada, and Munich, Germany. They have six areas of interest: Brewing Quality & Control, Business Management, Distilling, Draught, General Brewing Technology, and Sensory & Beer Styles.
It’s not just these schools that are solely dedicated to beer though. More and more universities are adding these type of classes to their course listings. In fact I found that more than 20 accredited colleges now offer some degree in brewing or beer science. But there are tons! You can find an in depth list of schools here and here.
But I’ll break down some of the bigger ones by region here.
Penn College: Brewing and Fermentation Science
Schenectady County Community College: Craft Beer Brewing
Springfield Technical Community College: Professional Brewing Certificate Program
University Of New Hampshire: Brewing Science (minor only)
Appalachian State University: Brewing Short Course (five day course over the summer)
Auburn University: Graduate Certificate in Brewing Science & Operations
Virginia Tech: B.S. in Fermentation Science
Western Kentucky University: Undergraduate/Graduate Certificates in Brewing and Distilling Arts and Sciences
Central Michigan University: Certificate of Fermentation Science
Eastern Michigan University: Fermentation Science
Montana State University (Billings): Craft Brewing and Fermentation Certificate
North Dakota State University: Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences
Southern Illinois University: Fermentation Science
Western Michigan University: B.S. in Sustainable Brewing
Central Washington University: B.S. in Craft Brewing
Colorado State University: B.S. in Fermentation Science and Technology
New Mexico State University: Brewing Engineering Program
Portland State University: Business of Craft Brewing Certificate (online)
San Diego State University: Business of Craft Beer Certificate
UC Davis: B.S. in Brewing Science and M.S. Food Science
UC San Diego: Professional Certificate in Brewing
As you can see by the list… Michigan, Oregon, and California have by far the most. And, based on the quality of beer and number of breweries in those places…it should come as no surprise. But really, no matter where you live, you can find a college offering a beer science course near you.
So if you’re looking at going back to school and love beer (which of course you do!)…these schools have got you covered. The hardest part will be having to live off Ramen noodles and only being able to afford Natty Light again, as these classes can cost nearly as much as Cicerone training (if not more).
And don’t forget to check out my craft beer school spirit here as well: