A commitment to education and sustainability both feel like noble pursuits, so, why not combine them? Cheers to Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University for doing just that. The two Michigan colleges are collaborating on a higher education program in sustainable brewing where students will be able to earn an associate degree at Kalamazoo and then earn a bachelor’s degree at WMU that would blend art, science and WMU’s leadership in the world of sustainability.
“Water use and water recovery are among the top issues among craft brewers around the nation,” says, Dr. Edwin A. Martini, associate dean in WMU’s College of Arts and Sciences. “WMU brings the resources of a research university and a national reputation in water research and sustainability to the table and KVCC’s food science and culinary arts expertise is providing the entry point and first credentials for students. Knowing that the craft beer industry is key to our community and state’s economic development, we enlisted the help of our industry advisors and designed a rigorous science-based degree program that will help craft brewers address big environmental issues as they use the very best of brewing art and science in a program that can only be described as meeting the industry’s gold standard.”
The science of brewing, Martini says, will be addressed through a curriculum that includes chemistry, biosciences, physics and environmental science. Mixed in with the science curriculum are a series of interdisciplinary courses that address sustainability, sales and marketing, and the relationship between food, beverages and culture throughout history.
Definitely head to WMU’s site for full details on the program.