Ballast Point Brewing Co. recently announced the launch of its inaugural Brewing for Diversity scholarship initiative in partnership with the UC San Diego Extension Brewing Program. Ballast Point’s Brewing for Diversity scholarship seeks to advance diversity and inclusion across all aspects of the brewing community by providing avenues for education and opportunities for future professional employment. The scholarship will grant underrepresented students the funds and tools they need to participate successfully in UC San Diego Extension’s Brewing Certificate Program. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online beginning February 8th at extension.ucsd.edu/brewing.
According to the Brewers Association, current race and ethnicity demographics of U.S. brewery employees skew overwhelmingly white for production staff (76.2 percent) and brewers (89 percent). In recognizing the need for more equitable representation, Ballast Point set out to develop a partnership initiative focused on promoting a more united community, reinforced by a deeper understanding and appreciation of inclusivity and equality. The Brewing for Diversity scholarship will provide full tuition and related fees for one student annually starting or continuing in the Brewing Certificate Program. Each recipient will also have the opportunity to intern at Ballast Point (Miramar, Little Italy) San Diego to gain real-world insight into brewery production and operations and to become well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to enter the industry professionally.
“This year we are starting something we feel is much needed,” said Misha Collins, Ballast Point’s community engagement manager who focuses on diversity and inclusion initiatives. “It’s essential to increase diversity within the beer industry, both from an employment and a consumer standpoint, and we have to work toward making sure everybody, from all walks of life, feels welcome. Such a powerful force develops when minds from different backgrounds and cultures come together. This force facilitates possibilities that are endless yet only feasible with change.”
Launched in 2013, UC San Diego Extension’s Professional Certificate in Brewing was the first of its kind in Southern California. The brewing program curriculum focuses on the science and technology of brewing and provides students with the technical skill and knowledge to competitively enter or advance within the professional brewing industry. Taught by leading professional brewers and other industry professionals, the program consists of part-time, evening and weekend sessions that offer academic and practical training for entry-level brewing professionals and can be completed in 12 to 18 months.
“We are thrilled to partner with local craft brewing leader, Ballast Point, on this important initiative to boost access and opportunity in a career field that has inspired so many,” said Laura Fandino, Extension’s assistant dean of Professional and Continuing Education. “Extension prides itself on being at the forefront of industry trends and is committed to ensuring that talented and diverse students are represented in the future of the craft brewing industry.”
The application window for Ballast Point’s Brewing for Diversity scholarship is February 8-May 15, 2021. A selection committee comprised of members of Ballast Point, UC San Diego Extension Program, and the Inclusion Committee of the San Diego Brewers Guild will review applications and interview potential candidates. The scholarship will be awarded the week of May 31, 2021.
“San Diego is the Capital of Craft, and it is important for us to lead the way towards a more inclusive craft beer community. For that reason, the San Diego Brewers Guild formed its Inclusion Committee in 2019,” explained Virginia Morrison, president of the San Diego Brewers Guild and 2019-2020 chair of the Inclusion Committee. “The San Diego Brewers Guild’s Inclusion Committee has a mission that includes being a ‘resource for Guild Brewery … members looking to implement diverse, inclusive, and equitable practices.’ Therefore, we are proud to join with Ballast Point and UC San Diego in this important initiative,” says Morrison.
To learn more about the Ballast Point’s Brewing for Diversity Scholarship and how to apply, visit extension.ucsd.edu/brewing.