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Shippensburg University to Offer Beer-Brewing Courses

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania will utilize a $71,701 grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to offer beer-brewing courses, according to a press release from the university.  

Students will be able to focus on a variety of areas related to brewing including fermentation, engineering, and management skills. The courses are part of an initiative to boost Pennsylvania’s malt beverage and beer industry, which is considered to be one of the best in the country.

Additionally, the university will offer brew science and management workshops along with the initial courses.

The grant money is scheduled to be distributed this summer with the university planning to offer courses shortly after the money is dispersed.  

Dr. Alison Feeney, a professor of earth science and geography at Shippensburg, who has written a book on the history of the breweries in the state of Pennsylvania, said the project will be effective in training the next generation of brewers.

“We aim to develop educational short courses and professional training opportunities to meet the needs of a well-trained, skilled workforce, along with identifying common lab tests and procedures. Small breweries will be able to use university services and build educational/apprenticeship type experiences for students,” Feeney said in the release.

Feeney also mentioned that many of the brewers in Pennsylvania got their start in brewing by making beer in their college dorm rooms and that Shippensburg may eventually offer a major in brewing.

“It’s not just a fad that’s going to pass by,” Feeney added. “I think people really do like their craft beer.”

According to the Brewers Association, Pennsylvania ranks number one in the nation in the number of beer barrels produced annually (3.9 million barrels) and number two in gallons produced per every adult over the age of 21.

Pennsylvania currently has 205 craft breweries, but that number is steadily increasing every year. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of breweries in the state increased by almost 100.

“Pennsylvania is number one in the nation for the number of barrels of craft beers produced in the country and it is a 1.1 billion dollar industry in our state,” Laura England, Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture Market Development Director, said. “So it has a strong impact on our economy.”

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