Attention Hopheads: Vancouver-Area University Launches Craft Beer Certificate

Photo credit: Evil Sivan | Flickr

Photo credit: Evil Sivan | Flickr

Know your hops from your malts and your ales from your lagers?  A new degree program at Metro Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University may be for you.

The university has announced that it will be offering a special certificate in Craft Beer and Brewing Essentials, starting this October at its Surrey campus.  The five-course, part-time program promises a “comprehensive approach to the art, science and business of craft beer” and is targeted to individuals eager to cash in on Vancouver’s craft beer boom.

Students will be immersed in a rigorous course load.  

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski | Flickr

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski | Flickr

Introduction to Brewing (i.e. Beer 101) offers an overview of the history of beer and the brewing process. Craft Beer Business Fundamentals looks at consumer trends, marketing and corporate strategy. Ingredient Development and Fermentation dives into malts, hops, yeasts and other beer components. Quality Assessment focuses on cleanliness and quality control in the brewery.  Finally, Brewing Sciences Laboratory offers hands-on instruction in “producing a flavourful alcoholic beverage” from scratch.

The program is offered on evenings and weekends, for aspiring brewers who aren’t quite ready to quit their day jobs.

Photo credit: Phil Dragash | Flickr

Photo credit: Phil Dragash | Flickr

Interestingly, SFU isn’t the first Vancouver-area university to bring craft beer into the classroom. Last fall, Kwantlen began offering a comprehensive two-year diploma on the science of brewing. Full-time classes are held in a specially designed brew laboratory. Coursework combines study of the chemistry and microbiology behind the brewing process with hands-on training in brewing, packaging and marketing beer.

Guest lectures from members of the B.C. Craft Brewers Guild and Master Brewers Association of Canada are supplemented by internships at local breweries. Plus, participants in the Kwantlen program are required to craft their own beers. The best of the the bunch are served in on-campus venues.

What do you think about Vancouver’s craft beer higher-ed programs? Let us know below. 

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