An overflowing craft beer industry has pushed administrators at an Ohio college to expand their curriculum. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is now offering the state’s first two-year degree in brewing science.
“I do get lots of people who want to volunteer to help me grade,” jokes Carla Gesell-Streeter, the chair of the new Brewing Science department in which she’s also a professor.
Gesell-Streeter has been blogging about the Cincinnati-area craft beer scene since 2009. Like we’ve seen in Columbus, she’s watched an industry transform before her eyes.
So much so, she says, that she wanted to help craft the next generation of brewers.
Last fall, she helped launch Cincinnati State’s brewing sales and marketing certificate. The new brewing science degree is, as the name suggests, light on marketing and heavy on the science.
“This fall they’ll take brewing technology and calculations, and brewing safety and sanitation before they get into the actual hands-on brewing production classes," she said.
Gesell-Streeter says she worked closely with industry leaders in setting up the program.
“I sat down with every existing brewery in Cincinnati, and also the distributors, to talk about what their needs were. The best quote I heard was, when I showed them my curriculum that I had laid out, they said ‘Whoever comes to me with this degree goes to the top of my hiring list.’”
But underclassmen eager to work in the industry should hold off on that celebratory IPA. Students have to be at least 21 years old to enroll.