I’ve been to Shippensburg, Pa., many times. It’s a lovable little town that lies in the Cumberland Valley, about 40 miles from Harrisburg. I hit Shippensburg about once a year to visit Volvo Construction Equipment’s American headquarters. Besides writing about the business of beer, I operate and analyze construction equipment. You see the connection, right?
Last time I visited, I stayed at a Marriott overlooking Ship’s Seth Grove Stadium. What a cool little university, I thought. At the time, I didn’t realize how cool. The school of 4,000 to 6,000 students recently announced a “Brew Science” program. Shippensburg University is using a $71,701 Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) grant to prepare students for the Pennsylvania brewing and ingredients industry. The project is one of 12 granted in the state. According to Ship’s website:
Act 39 of 2016 created the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board and authorized the PLCB to approve up to $1 million annually for the development and marketing of the Pennsylvania beer industry.
Heading up the project are regional experts Thomas Frielle and Alison E. Feeney. Feeney is the author of For the Love of Beer: Pennsylvania’s Breweries. From Local 21 News (CBS’s Harrisburg branch):
“What really got me exited was the small breweries in the little towns throughout the state that are really preserving downtown’s and main streets,” Feeney said.
“There’s all different skill sets out there that brewers need and that’s all we want to aim to do,” Feeney explained.
The classes and curriculum are still being planned, but the university is pointing toward short courses, bus tours, guest lectures and brew science and management workshops. Pennsylvania obviously has a rich tradition of beer that ranges from the oldest still operating brewery in America (Yuengling) to one of the best craft breweries in the country (Tröegs). The state is often No. 1 in the country for the amount of beer produced annually. Shippensburg is a great little town where students will surely get the attention they deserve. If you’re interested, the college is encouraging folks to take a survey, which is set up right here, so they can help build a program that you want. The university hopes to be offering courses this summer or fall.