We’ve featured loads of higher learning institutions that are realizing the importance of professional educational in the craft brewing industry. San Diego State University and Portland State University offer awesome courses in their brewing curriculum. The UC Davis Food Science Brewing Club is a new student group dedicated to promoting beer and its scientific process at one of the world’s leading cross-disciplinary research and teaching institutions, located in Davis, Calif. At North Carolina State University, the college actually has a working brewery, dedicated to advancing the science of brewing, as much as educating about the popular processes involved.
According to this excellent article at Technician Online, John Sheppard, a professor of food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences, spearheaded the creation of the N.C. State brewery to research the brewing process in 2006. Since then, Sheppard has seen it grow in scale, producing 50 to 60 barrels (bbls) of beer last year as part Sheppard and three graduate students’ research. These students and educators in food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences are actually studying how to better manage the brewing process and sharing his knowledge of beer.
“In my research, I’m looking at yeast aging, and we’re also looking to reduce this variability in fermentation,” said Blake Layfield, a Ph.D candidate. “It’s about maintaining a yeast management strategy and making a better brew.”
“The craft brewing industry in North Carolina is a growing part of the food and beverage industry,” Sheppard said. “What we’re trying to do is provide a facility and expertise that helps to facilitate high-quality products in North Carolina. By spreading the science behind brewing to the people that are involved in the local craft brewing industry we’re hoping to really make North Carolina a craft-brewing center in the U.S.”
In the process of progressing the local craft beer industry, the N.C. State brewhouse has actually amassed a full catalog of brews – many of which have won awards. The college’s India pale ale won first place in its category in the 2012 N.C. Brewer’s Cup. Read more about the program here.