Oskar Blues brews up beer education
Last Updated: 17:53 August 30, 2013
The 18-credit-hour program will be offered online beginning in the fall of 2014, and the brewery and the Alabama university now are collaborating on the creation of course materials.
Noah Tuttle, head brewer at Oskar Blues' Brevard, North Carolina, brewery, is working closely with Auburn professors on the project and is in Auburn with Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis this weekend to promote the program. Katechis is an Auburn alum.
"It feels really special to be creating this brewing science program in the place where I brewed my first batch of home brew," said Katechis in a press statement. He said he brewed his first batch of Oskar Blues' signature Dale's Pale Ale in a bathtub during his time at Auburn.
The program will add to a brewing-education marketplace that includes respected programs at Seibel Institute of Technology in Chicago and the University of California-Davis.
The program, which will cost $18,000, is geared toward people with a bachelor's degree who are looking to work in the brewing industry. Coursework will cover all aspects, from business operations to facilities to science to brewing to fermentation. At the end, students will travel to the North Carolina brewery for an intensive three-day hands-on session.
A major goal of the program is to prepare graduates for professional certification exams with the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.
In January, Oskar Blues' North Carolina brewery teamed with Blue Ridge Community College for a series of brewing courses. Tuttle said those courses are geared toward the production side of the business and not so much the sales, marketing and facilities components that will be added into the Auburn program.
In a phone interview, Tuttle said the Auburn program is starting small now to make sure they're doing things right.
"There's a lot of demand out there, so if we can make it into a larger program we will," Tuttle said.
Tuttle said Oskar Blues is in talks with Front Range Community College, which has a campus down the street from the brewery's headquarters in Longmont, about starting some sort of brewing program there as well.
Oskar Blues, started in Lyons in the late 1990s, is Boulder County's largest craft brewer, with 85,500 barrels brewed in 2012, up from 59,000 in 2011.
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