Beer Appreciation Classes Take Over College Campuses

Brewing and distillation courses: these are some classes you won't want to skip

American universities are offering more 'Introduction to Beer'  courses that introduce students to the science behind America's favorite alcoholic drink.

While most university students are entrenched in the world of beer, they’re usually more skilled at drinking copious amounts of it than describing its brewing process or history. That is, unless they happen to take a class on beer at one of the many American universities that are now offering an introduction to the country’s favorite alcoholic drink.

These courses won’t offer you free beer, but they do illuminate the finer points of brewing (so you can enlighten your friends over a pint). Last year, Appalachian State University in North Carolina added an “intro to beer brewing” course to its chemistry department classes. While the course isn’t open to everyone — only honors chemistry students — there has been keen student interest. The chemistry department now hopes to expand this course into a whole program called "fermentation studies." Students would then be able to graduate with a degree in making beer or wine.

Other colleges are introducing similar programs as well. The University of Houston offers a class in brewing science, viticulture, enology, and distillation science, with local brewmaster and professor Aaron Corsi. Rice The University of Houston is even opening up a beer class to the public, entitled "beer beyond the hedges." This class educates about the history of beer and how to make your own brew, with the bonus of beer tastings.

As craft beer’s popularity rises and beer gains a reputation as a drink as complex as wine, the country will most likely begin to see a shift in attitude toward the brew. Beer tastings, beer classes, beer at weddings, there’s a whole new world of brew that you haven’t discovered yet.


(Photo Final exam for Beer Appreciation Modified: Flickr/Divya Thakur/CC 4.0)