Universities Tap Into Craft Beer Craze

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A growing number of universities are teaching people how to turn their love of craft beer into a living.

As the craft beer industry has grown, universities have started offering certificate programs in the subject, the Associated Press reports.

Bart Watson, chief economist with the Brewers Association, tells the AP:

“Certainly the demand for people with a high level of brewing knowledge has gone up and on the business side as well. So I think we’re seeing a variety of different programs look for ways that they can capitalize on that.”

In 2015, the number of craft breweries in the U.S. surpassed 4,000 for what the Brewers Association called “almost certainly the first time … since the 1870s.”

That’s up from around 1,450 craft breweries one decade prior and around 850 two decades prior, according to the trade organization.

Portland State University offers a certificate in the business of craft brewing that promises students will have an investor-ready business plan by the end of the program, which is fully online and involves four or five courses.

According to the university, the program “focuses on the business side of brewing and is ideal for home brewers looking to reach larger audiences, as well as industry professionals who want to advance their careers.”

The University of Vermont (UVM) will start courses for its new certificate in the business of craft beer next month.

Gregory Dunkling, director for the certificate program, said in a university press release announcing the program:

“Our target audience for this program are college graduates with one to five years of work experience, preferably in sales, marketing, or business operations. The UVM program will also offer those planning to start their own brewery with the business skills to successfully operate a brewery.

The tremendous growth of craft beer is creating demand for new staff who are knowledgeable about the industry.”

What’s your take on the growth of the craft beer industry? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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