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Community Colleges Hope To Offer Degree In Craft Beer Brewing

Blue Ridge Community College hopes to offer a degree in craft beer brewing starting this fall.
Quinn Dombrowski
Flickr, Creative Commons

Many college students become immersed in beer culture when they go to college, but it’s usually not in the classroom. That might be about to change at three North Carolina colleges hoping to offer degrees in craft beer brewing next year.

Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock is the latest school in North Carolina to seek the state’s approval for a two-year Associate's Degree program through their newly-formed Craft Beer Academy. Both Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and Rockingham Community College in Wentworth have developed similar programs.

BRCC’s Craft Beer Academy is designed to prepare students for a career in the beer industry, with courses in brewing technique, as well as marketing and business classes. Pending the program's approval, BRCC is partnering with the craft brewery Oskar Bluesto let students spend summers at the Brevard brewery gaining hands-on experience while earning college credit.

According to the Times-News of Hendersonville, officials at BRCC say they expect the state’s approval by next week.

A handful of colleges and universities across the country offer similar courses,  including Central Washington University, Oregon State University, Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and University of California at Davis. Appalachian State University offers a Bachelor's  Degree in Fermentation Sciences, with a section that focuses on beer. 

Laura moved from Chattanooga to Chapel Hill in 2013 to join WUNC as a web producer. She graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in the spring of 2012 and has created radio and multimedia stories for a variety of outlets, including Marketplace, Prairie Public, and Maine Public Broadcasting. When she's not out hunting stories, you can usually find her playing the fiddle.
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