Sacred Heart University will start a new brewing science certificate program in May for people looking to start or advance their careers in brewing. The program will provide hands-on experience, teach the necessary skills in as little as 11 months and connect students with successful, established brewers.
As of December 2019, nearly 800 people are employed at Connecticut’s brewing companies, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor. The booming brewing industry in the state mirrors the employment trend in the industry across the country. More people than ever would like to open a brewery or work in one, but may lack the necessary skills and knowledge of required information such as sanitation and safety standards, legal aspects and the many differences between home and commercial brewing.
The brewing science certificate program, which will be the first of its kind in Connecticut, will provide training in these areas. People who complete it will have a strong, practical foundation in all things brewing, making them competitive candidates for jobs in brewing and craft beverage development.
The new program is already attracting attention and support. More than 30 breweries have signed on to offer internships, and many have expressed interest in hiring program graduates. Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford has agreed to have classes take place at its new Area Two Brewery for the first year. Partnering with the Connecticut Brewer’s Guild and other local experts allowed SHU to create curriculum that met industry requirements.
The curriculum will include classes in sanitation and safety; introduction to brewing ingredients, sensory analysis and beer service; craft beverage brewing; and operations and management; among others. The early courses will qualify students for the Cicerone Certified Beer Server exam and the ServSafe Alcohol exam.
Students also will take part in field work, where they will apply their education in workplace settings — breweries, grain and hops farms, tap rooms, etc. Students will have opportunities to visit these local businesses and receive hands-on learning while working alongside owners and operators.
“This is a practical program offering real-world experience. Plus, the flexible class schedule (evenings, weekends and online) makes it a convenient option for those already working full time. Yet, the program is suited to many types of people with an interest in brewing, such as homebrewers, career-changers and those currently working in the industry,” said Geffrey Stopper, program director and associate professor of biology at Sacred Heart.
Stopper, who learned fermentation from his vintner father, studied ecology and evolution at Yale University and has been combining the two interests throughout his career. He teamed up with colleagues to collaborate with Two Roads Brewing Company in developing the award-winning Via Cordis, and helped to harvest the yeasts used for brews Urban Funk, Country Funk and Table Terroir.
For more information about the brewing science certificate, visit sacredheart.edu/brewingscience.
About Sacred Heart University
As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change — in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 385 Colleges — 2020 Edition, “Best in the Northeast” and Best 252 Business Schools — 2019 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theater. sacredheart.edu.