The beer industry is a weird blend of science and hospitality. Northern Arizona University’s College of the Environment, Forestry and Natural Sciences (CEFNS) and School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) noticed this, and are now teaming up to offer a certificate program for the brewing industry. This program will offer career-ready options to students, and the hope is to position the university to become a leader in brewing science with two tracks being:
- Brewing and Quality Assurance and
- Brewing Management and Hospitality.
The Arizona Society of Homebrewers and the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild are kicking in for a student scholarship.
And yo, they are currently hiring an Associate Professor of Practice in Brewing and Fermentation Science. They say the right professor will bring it all together — someone with brewing, industry, science and teaching experience. Or maybe someone with a unique background who understands how all these fit and is passionate about leading a cutting-edge program. Apply here.
And if you happen to know him, Michael Marquess would make a good reference. He is an NAU alum and Hotel and Restaurant Management grad who opened Mother Road in 2011 after a service-sector career. He’s close to his alma mater, hosting lectures, experimental brew sessions and hothousing ideas with staff.
“All of the science stuff is critically important to the brewing process and you can’t forget customer experience,” says Marquess.
Science! Andy Koppisch, of the NAU Chemistry Department, explains that “The science part of brewing is Sensory — how do you assess quality, how do you brew consistently — a fundamental understanding of what’s positive and negative.” This track will receive a future boost by students getting to work in planned state-of-the-art research labs led by microbiologist Emily Cope, another collaborator.
Hospitality! Biology Professor Dr. David John helps lead the HRM portion: “Another required class that technically is a bio course but taught from HRM — Environmental Science for Hotel and Restaurant Management — relates to food science and hotel management.” HRM’s Interim Associate Executive Director Mark Molinaro will hone the focus so students gain hospitality job skills.
Mother Road is poised to provide internships, industry perspective, staff access, work experiences — even jobs. For their part, NAU is committed to new opportunities in brewing study, offering low-cost Continuing Education classes anyone one can take.