The Master Brewers Association of the Americas has recognized Pennsylvania College of Technology‘s brewing and fermentation science degree as one of only 12 approved programs nationwide – and the only one approved in the Northeast United States. Established in 1887, Master Brewers is a nonprofit, professional, scientific organization dedicated to advancing brewing, fermentation and related industries.
Penn College’s brewing and fermentation science major launched in Fall 2017, with classes and labs held in an industry-standard instructional space in the Hager Lifelong Education Center on the college’s main campus. Launched in response to the craft brewing industry’s need for skilled employees, the major combines the science, technology and management skills required to meet the growing consumer demand for unique craft beers.
Graduates of Penn College’s brewing and fermentation science program may find career opportunities in the food and hospitality industry, as well as technical positions within various types of breweries ranging from small craft brewers to large commercial enterprises. The science and technology that students are taught relate to other fermentation processes such as wine-making. Graduates are prepared for positions in production and process operations, safety and sanitation, and finishing and packaging. Other potential careers include positions within public health sector organizations, government regulators and small business owners.
As part of Penn College’s Master Brewers recognition, students enrolled in the brewing and fermentation science Associate of Applied Science degree major receive a complimentary student membership in the association, providing them with additional resources and contacts to support their learning and growth.
“To be recognized by the Master Brewers Association of the Americas in only our second year speaks to the quality of our brewing and fermentation science program and is quite an honor,” said Michael J. Reed, dean of Penn College’s School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications.
The program is guided by instructor Timothy L. Yarrington, a national award-winning brewer and expert on brewery construction and operations. He has served as founding brewer, head of brewing operations and brewmaster at Elk Creek Café + Ale Works in Millheim, Pa., and his connection to Elk Creek was forged through his freelance brewery consulting business, Brewstructure Consulting, LLC. Previously, Yarrington worked in Manhattan as a brewmaster at Times Square Brewery Restaurant II. He began his brewing career at The Long Valley Pub & Brewery in Long Valley, New Jersey. During his time at Long Valley, he captured one gold and two bronze medals at the renowned Great American Beer Festival, held in Denver, Colorado.
“The Master Brewers Association of the Americas is the standard bearer for the ‘success through knowledge’ foundation on which we have built Penn College’s brewing and fermentation science program,” Yarrington said. “It is extremely gratifying to have our efforts validated by such a venerable and esteemed association of professional brewers and brewing scientists.”
Through its higher education initiative, Master Brewers promotes and supports high quality in brewing and fermentation science two- and four-year programs through the development of stringent curriculum standards and learning outcomes. It formally recognizes educational programs that meet those criteria. Other approved MBAA programs are in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and Washington, as well as British Columbia, Canada.